Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! We have games, lessons, and learning activities from preschool math to calculus. If you like to learn new things and play around with mathematical ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Scattered between all the math blog links, I’ve included highlights from the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, which describe the types of expertise that teachers at all levels — whether in traditional, experimental, or home schools — should seek to develop in their math students.
Let the mathematical fun begin…
TRY THESE PUZZLES
By tradition, we start the carnival with a couple of puzzles in honor of our 52nd edition. Since there are 52 playing cards in a standard deck, I chose two card puzzles from the Maths Is Fun Card Puzzles page:
A blind-folded man is handed a deck of 52 cards and told that exactly 10 of these cards are facing up. How can he divide the cards into two piles (which may be of different sizes) with each pile having the same number of cards facing up?
What is the smallest number of cards you must take from a 52-card deck to be guaranteed at least one four-of-a-kind?
The answers are at Maths Is Fun, but don’t look there. Having someone give you the answer is no fun at all!
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! Here is a smorgasbord of ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college. Some articles were submitted by their authors, others were drawn from the immense backlog in my blog reader. If you like to learn new things, you are sure to find something of interest.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Several of these articles were submitted by the bloggers; others were drawn from my overflowing blog reader. Don’t try to skim everything all at once, but take the time to enjoy browsing. Savor a few posts today, and then come back for another helping tomorrow or next week.
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers.
Do you enjoy math? I hope so! If not, browsing these links just may change your mind. Most of these posts were submitted by the bloggers themselves; others are drawn from my overflowing Google Reader. From preschool to high school, there are plenty of interesting things to learn.
A few years ago, I had several (potentially) future engineers in our homeschool math club, and we enjoyed the challenge of MathCounts and AMC puzzles — but the current crop of local homeschool students is another story.
Last year’s contest-based club meetings dwindled to one student. Even before the recent MathCounts rulechanges, I knew I needed a new plan. The final straw was Kitten, whose moaning complaint that she “hates math” has begun to drive me crazy.
July 27th is Alex’s birthday. She shares it with Johann Bernoulli, an irascible mathematician from the late 17th century. This coincidence intrigued her enough that she wrote a research paper on Johann and his mathematical brother, titled “Jeering Jacob and Jealous Johann.”
Of course, to make the alliteration work, she had to mispronounce Johann’s name — but she figured he kinda deserved that. Read the historical tidbits below to find out why one writer said the Bernoulli brothers were “the kind of people who give arrogance a bad name.”*
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest. Let’s start the mathematical fun with an arithmetic card game in honor of our 24th edition and a few number puzzles:
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! We accept entries from anyone who enjoys playing around with math, as long as the topic is relevant to students or teachers of preK-12th grade mathematics.
Some articles were submitted by their authors, other were drawn from the back-log in my blog reader, and I’ve spiced it all up with a few math jokes courtesy of the Mathematical humor collection of Andrej and Elena Cherkaev.
Considering how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should be thought either a difficult or a tedious task for any other fool to learn how to master the same tricks… Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I have had to unteach myself the difficulties, and now beg to present to my fellow fools the parts that are not hard. Master these thoroughly, and the rest will follow. What one fool can do, another can.
For years, I have recommended Calculus Made Easy as summer reading (and future reference) for high school or college students headed into a calculus course — and for the parents of those students, who may have studied calculus in ages past and now need to dredge out the dust bunnies of memory so they can help with homework.
The original book (second edition) is now out of copyright and available for free online:
Welcome to the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival — which is not just for math teachers! If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest. Let the mathematical fun begin…
Welcome to the second Math Teachers At Play blog carnival! Some articles were submitted by their authors, other were drawn from the back-log in my blog reader, and I’ve spiced it all up with a few of my favorite quotations.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Math Teachers At Play blog carnival! I hope you enjoy this collection of tips, tidbits, games, and activities for students and teachers of preschool-12th grade mathematics.
For this first carnival, I’ve drawn several recent posts from my blog reader as examples of the types of posts I’d love to include in future editions of Math Teachers at Play. I tried to find something for everyone, from multiplication drill for elementary students to advice for understanding high school math equations.
I want to tell you a story. Everyone likes a story, right? But at the heart of my story lies a confession that I am afraid will shock many readers. People assume that because I teach math, blog about math, give advice about math on internet forums, and present workshops about teaching math — because I do all this, I must be good at math.
Apply logic to that statement. The conclusion simply isn’t valid.
If you cannot see what the exact speed is, begin to ask questions. Silly ones are the best to begin with. Is the speed a million miles an hour? Or one inch a century? Somewhere between these limits. Good. We now know something about the speed. Begin to bring the limits in, and see how close together they can be brought. Study your own methods of thought. How do you know that the speed is less than a million miles an hour? What method, in fact, are you unconsciously using to estimate speed? Can this method be applied to get closer estimates?
You know what speed is. You would not believe a man who claimed to walk at 5 miles an hour, but took 3 hours to walk 6 miles. You have only to apply the same common sense to stones rolling down hillsides, and the calculus is at your command.
If you’d like to start your week with a laugh, here’s a great quote:
Today I said to the calculus students, “I know, you’re looking at this series and you don’t see what I’m warning you about. You look and it and you think, ‘I trust this series. I would take candy from this series. I would get in a car with this series.’ But I’m going to warn you, this series is out to get you. Always remember: The harmonic series diverges. Never forget it.”
Eldest dd had her first calculus lesson last night: derivatives. The teacher found the speed of a car at a given point by using the distance function, calculating the average speed over shorter and shorter time intervals. Dd summarized the lesson for me:
“If you want to divide by zero, you have to sneak up on it from behind.”
Of course, she understands you can’t really divide by zero, but I thought her tongue-in-cheek comment was a pretty good description of the process of finding the limit as delta-t approached zero.