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.
- Talking Math with Kids
- Exploring Elementary Arithmetic
- Adventuring into Algebra and Geometry
- Scaling the Slopes of High School Math
- Enjoying Recreational Puzzles and Math Art
- Teaching with Wisdom and Grace
- Giving Credit Where It’s Due
Would you like to see YOUR favorite blog post in next month’s playful math blog carnival? Submissions are always open!
Talking Math with Kids
I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.
- Rodi describes the first session of a math circle for 6-7 years olds, and talks about how to engage students who haven’t experienced this type of learning before: PROBLEM SOLVING #1: A New Group of Students.
- Susan’s students try to figure out How far did Sam’s plane go?
- Christopher (@Trianglemancsd) notices the power of silence and of conversations in quiet moments: Tens Again.
- Telanna’s (@TAnnalet) students debate how to round off tricky numbers: Where does the number begin and end?
- Katie coins a useful addition to her (and our) math vocabulary: Double perfect squares.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Do your kids get confused by Roman Numerals? Jim has a conversion calculator and some tips: Why Do We Still Need This Ancient Math Skill? And then check out Manan’s Simple But Evil #5 — Roman Numeral Arithmetic.
- 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.
- Michael (@mikegold1950) explains the deep connections between different methods: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Multiplication (with apologies to Wallace Stevens).
Adventuring into Algebra and Geometry
It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.
- Alex (@msmathman) creates washi-tape angle puzzles to make his students think: Angles, Triangles, and the Start of Geometry in 6th Grade Math.
- Shellie (@themathmentors) details a game to replace review worksheets: How to play the four quadrant game.
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?
- Lisa (@Lisaqt314) shares a cool update to a classic student project: A Great Conics Project Using #Desmos.
- Have you seen Manan’s (@shahlock) “Simple But Evil” blog series? What fun! Simple But Evil #4 — Find The Vertex Of A Parabola.
- Dan (@normalsubgroup) points out how playing with an easier-to-remember, simpler version of a formula can be both more instructive and more fun for the beginner. But how might students develop the initial formula? Start with Don Cohen’s Infinite Series…
- And don’t miss the 143rd Carnival of Mathematics.
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.
- 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!
- And for my (@letsplaymath) own contribution to the carnival, here’s a collection of ideas for informal mathematical art: Dot Grid Doodling.
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.
- Graham (@gfletchy) posts the latest video in his wonderful Making Sense of Math series: The Progression of Early Number and Counting.
- Crystal (@Tri_Learning) shares how her homeschooling family is Using Narration to Evaluate Math Learning.
- Joe (@JSchwartz10a) takes a look at better ways to meet students at their own levels: To Each According To His Need.
- Lane (@LaneWalker2) offers time-tested advice for motivating math students: When Passion is Not Enough.
- Katrina (@Kschwart) highlights one key to effective teaching: How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking.
- Marilyn (@mburnsmath) tackles Preparing and Planning: How I Get Ready for Teaching a Math Lesson.
Giving Credit Where It’s Due
- Route 106 Pentagon image by Mitchazenia via Wikimedia Commons.
- The Pizza-Cutting Puzzle is a recreational math classic, but this variation of it comes from Kjartan Poskitt’s Murderous Maths website.
- Art photos are from the Public Domain Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- The quotations are from my Dot Grid Math Journals series.
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.
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!
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