Morning Coffee – 19 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

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 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

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.”

—Dan Finkel
What we mean when we say “Anyone can do math”

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

Do You Blog About Math?

It’s carnival time again. Activities, games, lessons, hands-on fun — if you’ve written a blog post about math, we’d love to have you join our Playful Math Blog Carnival, coming next week to Find the Factors blog.

Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of school-level mathematics (that is, anything from preschool up through first-year calculus). Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

Click here to submit your blog post

Don’t procrastinate: The deadline for entries is Friday, September 20. But if you wait that long, you’ll forget. So send in your submission today!

Have you noticed a new math blogger on your block that you’d like to introduce to the rest of us? Feel free to submit another blogger’s post in addition to your own. Beginning bloggers are often shy about sharing, but like all of us, they love finding new readers.

Need an Idea-Starter?

If you haven’t written anything about math lately, here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

  • Talking Math with Kids: Children often have surprising insight. Even when they’re confused about math, their point of view can open our adult eyes to new understanding. Share your kids’ stories.
  • Games or Activities: Do you have a game, activity, or anecdote about teaching math to young students? We’d love to play along.
  • Lesson Ideas: This section is for arithmetic explorations, geometry puzzles, trig investigations, contest-preparation tips, and more. Can you make math topics come alive, so they will stick in a student’s mind?
  • Teaching Tips: Other teachers’ blogs are an important factor in my continuing education. The more I read about the theory and practice of teaching math, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn. So please, fellow teachers, don’t be shy — share your insights!
  • Mathematical Recreations: What kind of math do you do, just for fun?

Explore the Other Math Carnivals

While you’re waiting for next week’s carnival, you may enjoy:

CREDITS: “Two Bloggers, after Norman Rockwell” sketch (top) by Mike Licht (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.

A Puzzle for Palindrome Week

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

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

Links

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

Read about the history of palindromes on Nrich Math’s Palindromes 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.

Read about the inspirations, and then try making some math of your own.

“I looked into that enormous and inexhaustible source of inspiration that is Escher and tried to imagine how it could be his workplace, what things would surround an artist like him, so deeply interested in science in general and mathematics in particular. I imagined that these things could be his travel souvenirs, gifts from friends, sources of inspiration…”

—Cristóbal Vila
Inspirations: A short movie inspired on Escher’s works