New Blog: 19 & Still Alive

old man by Niner[Graphite drawing by Niner.]

Niner (pronounced Neener), who takes the photos for my blog header — which reminds me, we’re about due for a new one of those… — has started a new blog. She calls it 19 & Still Alive, because “the world doesn’t end when you’re 16 if you don’t go to Prom or don’t get your driver’s license. (I never went to Prom, and I didn’t go through Driver’s ED until 17, but I’m alive, amazingly.)”

There won’t be any math there, or at least I don’t expect to see any; the blog will be mostly her rambling thoughts about whatever catches her interest. But she does have a wonderful graphite drawing based on the photo Masarwa man. On her blog, you can click the image to see him up close and personal. Wow!

Algebra: A Problem in Translation

[Photo by *Irish.]

In my post Elementary Problem Solving: The Tools, I introduced word algebra as a way to help students think their way through a story problem. In the next two posts, I showed how the tool worked with simple word problems.

Now, before I move on to focus exclusively on bar diagrams, I would like to show how word algebra can help a student solve a typical first-year algebra puzzle.

A homeschooling friend who avoided algebra in high school, trying to help her son cope with a subject she never understood, posted: “Help! Our answer is different from the book’s.” Here is the homework problem:

Josh earned $72 less than his sister who earned $93 more than her mom. If they earned a total of $504, how much did Josh earn?

Continue reading Algebra: A Problem in Translation

Contest: Write a Number Story


Math Mama is hosting the next Math Teachers at Play blog carnival (submit your post here) on Friday, and she writes:

The Math Teachers at Play blog carnival came out twice as #15. Since then we’ve had #16 and #17. We’d like to iron out the numbering, and so the upcoming issue will be #19. I am personally sponsoring a contest for the best little (ie, very short) story written about how the numbers got mixed up this way…

For more details, check out her blog post:

Beginning next month, the MTaP carnival will change its schedule, coming out on the third Friday of every month.

If you are interested in hosting an upcoming carnival, please let me know! Carnival posts are a lot of fun to put together, you get to discover new (or new-to-you) bloggers, and you almost always get a bit of a traffic spike. And don’t worry if you’ve never hosted a blog carnival before — just ask for my very detailed “how to” email to help you get started.

Elementary Problem Solving: Review

[Bill Watterson identifies the trouble with math problems, through the eyes of Calvin and Hobbes.]

It’s time to revive and (hopefully!) finish my long-neglected series on solving word problems in elementary mathematics. I’ve been having fun making up the problems, so now I just have to write the posts. Coming up soon:

Since it has been more than two years since the last entry, however, I wanted to take a few minutes to recap our progress so far and to refer new readers back to the original posts:

Continue reading Elementary Problem Solving: Review

My New Project: Blogging 2 Learn

Beginning in January, I will teach a 4th-12th grade Blogging 2 Learn class through our local homeschool co-op. For now, here is my research blog, testing ideas and trying to imagine myself as a new blogger:

Have you used blogs with your students? If so, I would love to hear your suggestions and comments. And whether you are an experienced or a wanna-be blogger, please share: What do you think a “Blogging to Learn” class should cover?

Math Teachers at Play #17 via MathRecreation

Check out the action-packed blog carnival at mathrecreation:

There is plenty of humor, a few movies, some great activities and explorations, and lots of math in Math Teachers at Play 17. Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did….

I think this may be our longest edition yet, with plenty of mathematical fun for all ages. Enjoy!