## Morning Coffee – 30 September 2019

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Monday morning coffee:

• Kathy Iwanicki’s students explore an unsolved math puzzle: the Hailstone Sequence. I think my co-op class might enjoy this activity, too.
• If you want to understand how number concepts develop through the school years, Graham Fletcher’s Progression Videos are a great place to start. Watch, re-watch, and learn.

“Learning occurs when we get something wrong and have to correct it. This is analogous to the much better known fact that when we subject our bodies to physical strain, say by walking, jogging, or lifting weights, the muscles we strain become stronger — we gain greater fitness.

“Indeed, the learning is better if the correction occurs some time after the error is made. Stewing for a while in frustration at being wrong, and not seeing how to fix it, turns out to be a good thing. Cracking your ego is an unavoidable part of learning.”

—Keith Devlin
On making omelets and learning math

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

## Morning Coffee – 27 September 2019

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Friday morning coffee:

• Do you have early learners? Christina Tondevold explains the building blocks of Number Sense for Pre-K to 2nd grade children.
• If it’s time to teach your kids about the order of operations, consider using David Butler’s graphic version The Operation Tower. But don’t let yourself be drawn into those “gotcha!” memes on social media. As Dave Peterson points out (using trig functions), Order of Operations flows from basic common sense. If you need parentheses to make your meaning clear, then use them.

“What do we need to know in order to accomplish the goal? Well, start asking questions. And remember, one unasked question could put the entire enterprise in jeopardy…”

—Joe Schwartz
Houston, 1964

“It’s a little weird, isn’t it, that prime means first, and yet the first number isn’t prime?”

—Ben Orlin
Why Isn’t 1 a Prime Number?

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

## Playing with Math at Find the Factors Blog

Check out the new playful math blog carnival at Find the Factors blog. Iva Sallay put together a great collection of number puzzles, math games, teaching tips, and more:

It’s like a free online magazine of mathematical adventures.

Enjoy!

### Do You Want More Ways to Play with Math?

Past carnivals are still full of mathy treasure. See them all on Pinterest:

And if you’re a blogger, be sure to submit your blog post for next month’s carnival!

## Mathematics: An Acrostic

### What Is Your Child’s Experience of Math?

If your children made an acrostic for the word “Mathematics,” what would they include?

Would they think of adjectives like artistic, mysterious, or sublime?

I love taking a playful approach to mathematics. Puzzles, games and art projects lay down a foundation of wonder and enjoyment. This creates a strong, positive base to support our kids through the inevitable difficulties of learning an abstract subject like math.

There are many rich math resources these days! So different from back when I started homeschooling. If you need ideas to help you transform your child’s experience of math, check out my Free Math on the Internet pages.

In fact, I have a huge folder of even more bookmarks and links that I hope to add to my resource pages, whenever I find the time…

Does your family have a favorite way to play with math?

CREDITS: Water background photo by Ishan via Unsplash.

## Morning Coffee – 23 September 2019

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Monday morning coffee:

• David Butler invented a challenging new game that can spark plenty of mathematical thinking: Digit Disguises.
• If you liked James Tanton’s video on the area model in last week’s post, you may enjoy his in-depth discussion of The Astounding Power of Area.
• On a lighter note, I’m sure any classroom or homeschool teacher can think of several ways to use Sara VanDerWerf’s collection of Math Fails. Scroll down for links to earlier collections, too.

“I told them that actually what they did was exactly what maths is — reasoning things out using the information you have and being able to be sure of your method and your answer. Just because there’s no symbols, it doesn’t mean it’s not maths.”

—David Butler
The Seven Sticks and what mathematics is

“I am not willing to teach mindless math. It leads to mindless adults. Thinking is not an add-on once they have memorized. Thinking is the basic tool to negotiate the world.”

—Geri Lorway
Teaching division?… Do you know the “basics”?

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

## Morning Coffee – 19 September 2019

One of the best ways we can help our children learn math (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Thursday morning coffee:

“Most people think that maths is replete with factual knowledge. But actually, it’s subjects like English, the Humanities, and some sciences that are hefty in factual content. Maths is super-dense with concepts, and processes, but really only very few facts.”

—Kris Boulton
Why Maths Teachers Don’t Like Knowledge Organisers

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

## Morning Coffee – 17 September 2019

One of the best ways to help our children learn math (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Tuesday morning coffee:

• David Wees discusses ways to use visual patterns to introduce and extend students’ understanding of algebra and functions.

“What we should all be shooting for is a world where everyone is mathematically literate, and where fear or anxiety around mathematics doesn’t prevent people from doing the things they dream of doing. Everyone should see some beautiful mathematical ideas and know what it feels like.”

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

## A Puzzle for Palindromes

If you haven’t seen the meme going around, this is a palindrome week because the dates (written American style and with the year shortened to ’19) are the same when reversed.

Here’s a math puzzle for palindrome week — or any time you want to play with math:

• Print a 100 chart.
• Choose a color code.
• Play!

What do you think: Will all numbers eventually turn into palindromes?

You can find all sorts of hundred charts on my Free Math Printable Files page.

Find out more about the Palindromic Number Conjecture in Mark Chubb’s article An Unsolved Problem your Students Should Attempt.

Or play with Manan Shah’s advanced palindromic number questions.

## Math That Is Beautiful

One of the sections in my book Let’s Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together — and Enjoy It encourages parents to make beautiful math with their children.

Do you have trouble believing that math can be beautiful?

In “Inspirations,” artist Cristóbal Vila creates a wonderful, imaginary work studio for the amazing M.C. Escher. You’ll want to view it in full-screen mode.

How many mathematical objects could you identify?

Vila offers a brief explanation of the history and significance of each item on his page Inspirations: A short movie inspired on Escher’s works.