Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this —
those He redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those He gathered from the lands,
frome east and west, from north and south.

Whoever is wise, let him heed these things
and consider the great love of the Lord.

— Psalm 107:1-3 and 43

[Feature photo above by Martha_chapa95 (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr. Quotation from Holy Bible, New International Version, (c)1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.]



The Mathematician and the Poet

Mathematician-and-Poet

The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.

— William James

CREDITS: 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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Pondering Large Numbers

[Feature photo above by Paolo Camera (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

Half of our students were missing from this month’s homeschool teen math circle, but I challenged the three who did show up to wrap their brains around some large numbers. Human intuition serves us well for the numbers we normally deal with from day to day, but it has a hard time with numbers outside our experience. We did a simple yet fascinating activity.

First, draw a line across a page of your notebook. Label one end of the line $20 (the amount of money I had in my purse), and mark the other end as $1 trillion (rough estimate of the US government’s yearly overspending, the annual deficit):

large-numbers-baseline

  • Where on that line do you think $1 million would be?

Go ahead, try it! The activity has a much greater impact when you really do it, rather than just reading. Don’t try to over-think this, just mark wherever it feels right to you.

The kids were NOT eager to commit themselves, but I waited in silence until everyone made a mark.

  • Okay, now, where do you think $1 billion would be?

This was a bit easier. Once they had committed to a place for a million, they went about that much farther down the line to mark a billion.

Continue reading Pondering Large Numbers

Teach Three Things

Teach-three-things

I need to teach my students about three things: failing gracefully, persevering, and succeeding graciously.

— Hollis Easter

CREDITS: Today’s quote is from Hollis Easter, via Twitter. Background photo courtesy of Brenda Clarke (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.


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Math Playtime With Blocks

Feature video by Stuart Jeckel via youtube.

DO Try This at Home

And ask questions!


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Math Teachers at Play #68 via Mathematical Mischief

CERDEC Math and Science Summer Camp, 2013

[Photo by U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]

The Math Teachers at Play blog carnival is a monthly blogging round-up shared at a different blog each month, featuring posts from parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and students — anyone who is interested in playing around with school-level (preschool to pre-college) or recreational math.

This month’s edition is ready for your browsing pleasure:

Enjoy!

Good morning, everybody! This month’s edition of Math Teachers at Play is edition number 68. Also known as edition number {{2}^{2}}({{2}^{4}+1}). Or edition 31+37 or edition 7+61…. Alrighty, so… did you know that 68 is a happy number? That’s right, it’s not unhappy, it quite likes the way it is.

There’s certain numbers that exist that are ‘happy’ numbers. This is because the sum of the square of their digits is equal to 1. So, for 68, the two digits are 6 and 8. Adding the squares, we’re given {{6}^{2}}+{{8}^{2}}, which equates to 100. Adding the square of each of the digits makes 1, which is happy!

  • Can you find some more happy numbers?
    I’ll give you a hint – the first one is 1.

Anyway, back to the carnival. This carnival features 11 articles – smaller than last time, but still just as awesome and creative as ever….

Click here to go read the whole carnival: 11 great ideas for teaching math!
[By the way, did you notice? 11 is a happy number, too.]

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