Math Teachers at Play #8


[Photo by jaaron.]

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.

Let the mathematical fun begin…

Continue reading Math Teachers at Play #8

Quilt: What Can You Do with This?

[Ragged Squares Quilt photos used with permission from Crazy Mom Quilts.]

I know other teachers have done math quilts, but I’ve never gotten around to trying it in any of my classes. Still, this image caught my eye and practically begged me to make it into a math lesson for my elementary math club.

I thought of at least two ways I could go with this, but I bet that if we put our brains together, we can come up with even more creative ideas. So here’s the question, ala Dan Meyer:

  • What can you do with this?

How could you use this image as a springboard to doing math? What questions would you ask? What concepts would you try to get across? What would you follow it with? Please comment!

Other photos are available…

Continue reading Quilt: What Can You Do with This?

Math Bloggers at Play

Carnival of Mathematics

The Carnival of Mathematics #52 is up and running at The Number Warrior, with tidbits about perfect numbers and Mersenne primes as well as links to a variety of interesting blog posts. Even if you aren’t a particularly “mathy” person, I think you will enjoy these:

Check out the rest of the articles at Carnival of Mathematics #52.

And if you didn’t catch it last week, Math Teachers at Play #6 was short but fun at I Want to Teach Forever. Next week’s Math Teachers at Play carnival will be hosted by Misty at Homeschool Bytes. If you blog about math on the K-12 level, be sure to send in your entry soon!

Math Facts: 5 Minutes a Day


Y of x reminded me about one of my old favorite websites for math fact practice with a purpose:

5-10 minutes of daily practice will cement the math facts in your student’s mind, while at the same time doing a good deed. For each correct answer, a Free Rice sponsor donates a very small amount of rice to feed hungry people worldwide through the UN World Food Program.

Even very small amounts of rice add up. Since Free Rice started in 2007, its sponsors have bought more than 63 billion grains of rice, just by paying for one right answer click at a time.

You and your students can practice other topics as well:

Continue reading Math Facts: 5 Minutes a Day

Can You Read the Flu Map?

[Map as of early afternoon on May 4th, found at the NY Times.]

Compare the dark circles (confirmed cases) for Mexico, New York and Nova Scotia in the top part, or Mexico and the U.S. in the lower part of the map. It’s easy to see which has more cases of the flu — but how many more? Which would you guess is the closest estimate:

Mexico : New York : Nova Scotia

  • = 7:3:2 or 20:5:3 or 16:2:1?

U.S. : Mexico

  • = 1:2 or 2:5 or 3:7?

Continue reading Can You Read the Flu Map?

Tangrams and Other Dissection Puzzles

tangram-cat[Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom.]

One of the things I meant to do with my elementary math class (the one that got canceled due to low enrollment):

And then we would play around with Tangram puzzles, and perhaps make up a few of our own.

Continue reading Tangrams and Other Dissection Puzzles