The Mathematician and the Poet

Mathematician-and-Poet

Wednesday Wisdom features a quote to inspire my fellow homeschoolers and math education peeps. Today’s quote is from William James, via the Furman University Mathematical Quotations Server. Background photo courtesy of Joe Maggie-Me (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.


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Math Teachers at Play #35

35 is a tetrahedral number

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.

Let the mathematical fun begin…

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Math Teachers at Play #32 via Point of Inflection

[Sung to the tune of the Gilligan's Island song.]

The carnival is up and now it’s time to click away.
Go check out all the links in this month’s Math Teachers at Play.

There’s algebra, geometry, and some Egyptian vids,
Equations, jokes, domes, real numbers, and games for all the kids….


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Gobolink Symmetry

I admit, it doesn’t really have anything to do with math, but it looks like a fun way to spend a snowy afternoon:

According to the authors:

Jet black ink should be used, and a good quality of unglazed paper. The ink should not be too thin. The table should be protected from accident with several thicknesses of newspaper. . .

For a specially invited Gobolink party the company may dress in any grotesque fashion, remembering only that both sides of their costume shall be the same, this being a feature peculiar to Gobolink attire.

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Non-Metric Measurements, and Poetry


Photo by ninjapoodles.

Do you and your students have trouble keeping track of those pesky English/American measurements? Here is a great visual showing the relationship between common volumes:

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pi-pie-by-pauladamsmith

Happy Pi Day II

[Feature photo above by pauladamsmith.]

Now there is an ancient Greek letter,
And I think no other is better.
It isn’t too tall,
It might look very small,
But its digits, they go on forever.

— Scott
Mrs. Mitchell’s Virtual School

Time to Celebrate

Are your students doing anything special for \pi Day? After two months with no significant break, we are going stir crazy. We need a day off — and what better way could we spend it than to play math all afternoon?

If you need ideas, here are some great \pi pages:

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They Grow Up Too Fast!

Chickenfoot ready to perform

Even the child in question agrees with that. Chickenfoot is suffering from Peter Pan syndrome: “I don’t want to grow up!” This week, someone asked him, “You’re 17, aren’t you?” Not yet, but 13 has passed into memory…

I got tricky with the hidden present this time. The outside of the envelope changed insignificantly. It read:

I’m your last present.
Can you find me?
I’m hiding some place
That you cannot see…

But the real departure from normal came with the poetry inside. The poem was a success, in that he laughed at all the appropriate spots, but the hiding place turned out to be a little too good. Can you find the two clues in all this mess?

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Happy Birthday, Princess Kitten!

Princess Kitten

Our youngest child turns 9 today. Time shoots by at rocket speed, doesn’t it? Every year, the older kids complain that their baby sister isn’t allowed to grow up — they still feel like being nine years old themselves!

I have mentioned before our family tradition of the “hidden present.” [See this post and that.] Every year, one birthday present is hidden somewhere in the house, with the clue placed in an envelope to be opened after all the other gifts are unwrapped.

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Quotations XVII: If People Don’t Believe That Mathematics Is Simple…

Quotes from my blackboard during October:

Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first, and the lesson afterward.

Vernon Law

What, after all, is mathematics but the poetry of the mind, and what is poetry but the mathematics of the heart?

David Eugene Smith

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Happy Birthday, Sweet 17!

Beach partyI described in a previous post our family tradition of hiding one present on each child’s birthday. Today’s hidden present rhyme was more successful than recent ones — the birthday girl was temporarily stumped and needed a hint from her older sister. Can you guess where they found the gift?

As always, the outside of the envelope is the same:

I’m your last present.
Can you find me?
I’m hiding some place
That you can’t see…

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I’m Your Birthday Present. Can You Find Me?

One of our favorite family traditions for young children is the “hidden present.” Every year, one birthday present is hidden somewhere in the house, with the clue placed in an envelope to be opened after all the other presents are unwrapped.

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Fraction Division — A Poem

[Rescued from my old blog.]

Division of fractions is surely one of the most difficult topic in elementary arithmetic. Very few students (or teachers) actually understand how and why it works. Most of us get by with memorized rules, such as:

Ours is not to reason why;
just invert and multiply!

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Fibonacci Poetry = Fun!

[Rescued from my old blog.]

Well, I hadn’t planned on spending my day this way. One of the great things about homeschooling is that we can spend time following rabbit trails…

While browsing the Carnival of Homeschooling, I found a link to Farm School blog’s article Fib Foolery, which sent me to Gotta Book for his articles The Fib and More Fibbery (read the comments on both threads, but be warned that some are crude) and several other posts, all of which set me off on a morning of poetic fun. I know what I’m going to share at our Tuesday Teatime and Poetry Reading this afternoon.

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