Playful Math Education Carnival 106

Do you enjoy math? I hope so! If not, browsing this post just may change your mind.

Welcome to the 106th edition of the Math Teachers At Play math education blog carnival — a smorgasbord of links to bloggers all around the internet who have great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college. Let the mathematical fun begin!

By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle in honor of our 106th edition. But if you would like to jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

Try This Puzzle

If you slice a pizza with a lightsaber, you’ll make straight cuts all the way across. Slice it once, and you get two pieces.

If you slice it five times, you’ll get a maximum of sixteen pieces. (And if you’re lucky you might get a star!)

  • How many times would you have to slice the pizza to get 106 pieces?


And now, on to the main attraction: the blog posts. Some articles were submitted by their authors; others were drawn from the immense backlog in my rss reader. If you’d like to skip directly to your area of interest, click one of these links.

Would you like to see YOUR favorite blog post in next month’s playful math blog carnival? Submissions are always open!

Submit an Entry

Three Cubes by Peter Flötner

Talking Math with Kids

I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.


  • Kent (@KentHaines) asks, “What topic is equally confounding to my 4-year-old son and my Algebra 1 class?” Halfway.
  • Kids say the most delightful things! Eavesdrop on more mathy kid-talk (and share your own tidbits): #tmwyk.

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De Arithmetica by Filippo Calandri

Exploring Elementary Arithmetic

The value of a problem is not so much coming up with the answer as in the ideas and attempted ideas it forces on the would be solver.

—I.N. Herstein

  • Manan (@shahlock) asks, “How do we share fairly without an adult mediating?” Read his four-part series as the 2nd-grade students play with arithmetic, geometry, measurement, and even some intuited Calculus exploring ways to share.
  • My homeschool co-op math class is enjoying math games. This week, I think we’ll try John’s (@mathhombre) metric measurement game: Michigan Smith.

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Geometria by Johann Sadeler I

Adventuring into Algebra and Geometry

It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.

—George Polya

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Garden of Mathematical Sciences by Francesco Curti

Scaling the Slopes of High School Math

Mathematics is the closest that we humans get to true magic. How else to describe the patterns in our heads that—by some mysterious agency—capture patterns of the universe around us?

—Ian Stewart

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Spiral by Albrecht Dürer

Enjoying Recreational Puzzles and Math Art

What makes a mathematician is not technical skill or encyclopedic knowledge but insatiable curiosity and a desire for beauty.

—Paul Lockhart

  • Jon (@MrOrr_geek) and daughters experiment with cutting paper Magic Rings, and they’d like you to guess what will happen.
  • Malke (@mathinyourfeet) is making more math at body scale: Build big. I’d love to try this with my homeschool co-op math kids!

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Labor by Raphael Sadeler I

Teaching with Wisdom and Grace

One thing to keep in mind is that mathematics is a story and that teachers are story tellers. If you can bring the story of mathematics to life then you will have a much better chance of reaching all your students.

—Scott Baldridge

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Cuneiform fragment of a mathematical problem

Giving Credit Where It’s Due

And that rounds up this edition of the Math Teachers at Play carnival. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

The next installment of our carnival will open sometime during the week of April 24-28 at Give Me a Sine blog. If you would like to contribute, please use this handy submission form. Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of preK-12 mathematics. Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

Submit an Entry

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival information page.

We need more volunteers. Classroom teachers, homeschoolers, unschoolers, or anyone who likes to play around with math (even if the only person you “teach” is yourself) — if you would like to take a turn hosting the Math Teachers at Play blog carnival, please speak up!

4 thoughts on “Playful Math Education Carnival 106

    1. I just heard about it earlier this month, so it may be new. Or I’m slow picking up on things. But in general, I believe — but I’m not a lawyer — photographs of old art can’t be copyrighted, since the art is public domain and a photo is not considered “transformative use.”

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