## April Math Calendar

My homeschool co-op classes had a lot of fun creating this April calendar to hand out at our end-of-semester party on Friday. It’s not as easy to read as a traditional calendar — it is more like a puzzle. The expression in each square simplifies to that day’s date, so families can treat each day like a mini-review quiz: “Do you remember how to calculate this?”

If you’ve been wanting to start your own math club, you will find plenty of helpful ideas here:

## Update

Check out my May Math Calendar post for more ideas about how to use these puzzles.

## How DO We Learn Math?

What makes it possible to learn advanced math fairly quickly is that the human brain is capable of learning to follow a given set of rules without understanding them, and apply them in an intelligent and useful fashion. Given sufficient practice, the brain eventually discovers (or creates) meaning in what began as a meaningless game.

It seems obvious that our children must have a wide range of experience with real world objects before counting, addition, or subtraction mean anything to them. But are other topics, such as calculus, better learned as abstract rules — as a game that we play with symbols? And what about the topics in the middle? For instance, how best can we break our algebra students of common errors such as distributing the square or canceling out addition terms?

To teach effectively, I need to understand how students learn. Do different approaches work best with different concepts? Or at different ages or stages of development? I can think of at least 3 ways that I have learned math — what about you? How do you and your children learn?

## Math Game: Logarithm War

[Graph created at Draw Function Graphs.]

Kate at f(t) took my popular Math War game to a new level by making a set of Logarithm War cards. Cool! Download a deck for yourself:

## Update

Logs and Trig War—Jim Pai extended Kate’s logarithm war to include trig functions. Double the cards, double the fun! Download from Jim’s blog: War: what is it good for?

## Homeschool Kids Write

No, it’s not math, but it looks like a great way to kick-start Princess Kitten’s long-neglected blog. She sat down at the computer and browsed the links to other kids’ posts for over an hour last night, occasionally laughing out loud. Then she opened her Dashboard and started to type a response to the green assignment.

I’ll have to let her know there’s a new post up today. Check it out:

• Homeschool Kids Write

Maybe I can even get her to send something in to the next Homeschool Kids Blog Carnival. It’s worth a try…

## Update

Unfortunately, Homeschool Kids Write has disappeared from the web. The Wayback Machine link gives a taste of what the site was like, but It’s just not the same without the Mr. Linky connections to all the children’s writings.

Kitten did three of the writing assignments. And not only did she enter the Homeschool Kids Blog Carnival, she even hosted one edition!

My baby is growing up…

## Key Lime Pi

This may be my favoritest ever Pi Day T-shirt, designed by the admin over at 10-Minute Math. I admit it’s not very mathy, but I’ve always enjoyed word play, and I love key lime.

The design won a Reflection T-shirt Company contest and is now available to pre-order for only \$8.99 (plus shipping). [Company seems to have gone out of business? Can’t find their website…]

Unfortunately, it won’t be available in time for this Friday’s class.

## Math Teachers at Play #2

[Photo by Sister72.]

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.

Let the mathematical fun begin…