Holiday Math and More: Math Teachers at Play #114

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

Welcome to the 114th edition of the Math Teachers At Play math education blog carnival — a smorgasbord of articles by bloggers all around the internet who have great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college.

If you would like to jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

By the way, I found a cool, semi-self-referential trivia tidbit about our carnival number: 27 − 14 = 114. And if you put 114 dots into a 1←7 Exploding Dots machine, you’ll get the code 222. Pretty neat!

As you scroll through the links below, you find several puzzle graphics from the wonderful Visual Patterns website. Use them as conversation-starters with your kids: What do you notice? How does each pattern grow? For older students: Can you write a formula to describe how each pattern? What will it look at stage 43?

Pattern #7, Trees

A BIT OF FUN

Setting the mood: Enjoy this bit of seasonal fidgeting from Vi Hart (@vihartvihart).

If you don’t understand some of the references, that’s normal! Pick a phrase, Google it, and enjoy the fun of learning something new.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

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.

Let the mathematical fun begin!


SEASONAL MATH ACTIVITIES

You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy many of these activities — but really, I couldn’t find much for the other winter holidays. A few calculation worksheets with clip art, which is not my idea of playful math.

Do you know of any great math-related seasonal games, crafts, or activities I missed? Please add them to the comments section below!

Pattern #9, Snowflakes
Pattern #152, from John Golden, Circles
  • Clarissa (@c0mplexnumber) demonstrates how to make beautiful, challenging origami snowflakes. She recommends beginners try the first few folds — which create a pretty cool design on their own. Let it Snow… You may also enjoy her other Christmas projects.
Pattern #8, Penguins

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TALKING MATH WITH KIDS

Pattern #20, Helmets

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ELEMENTARY EXPLORATION AND MIDDLE SCHOOL MASTERY

  • If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know I like to play with dot grid paper. So of course, I was delighted to find Spatial Learning’s Isometric Dot Paper Activities, and the follow-up Cube Stack Activity. What a great way to build geometric intuition!
Pattern #197, from Stephanie Bowyer, Symbols

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ADVENTURES IN BASIC ALGEBRA & GEOMETRY

Pattern #28, Surface area

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ADVANCED MATHEMATICAL ENDEAVORS

Pattern #98, Centers are collinear, Fraction of the original circle shaded

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PUZZLING RECREATIONS

Pattern #52, Cubes

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TEACHING TIPS

  • My daughter is struggling with online homework in her calculus class — not because the math is too hard, but because the interface is anti-intuitive. So David’s (@davidwees) post resonates with me: Online Practice is Terrible Practice. And I love his challenge to find and teach to the Big Ideas of math.
  • I’d like to wrap up the carnival with an article you may have seen before. If you haven’t read it, you’re in for a treat. And if you have, well, it’s very much worth re-reading. Annually. As we wrap up the old year and prepare for the new … Francis’s (@mathyawp) Mathematics for Human Flourishing.

“Shalom and salaam, my friends. Grace and peace to you. May you and all your students flourish.”

— Francis Su

Pattern #174, from Katie Gates, Squares

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LOOKING AHEAD

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 January 22–26, 2018, at … well, we don’t know!

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.

To share your favorite blog post with the carnival, please use this handy submission form. Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of preK-12 mathematics. Older-but-still-relevant posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival (at least, not in recent memory).

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

Pattern #30, from John Golden, Squares

howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


Math Teachers and Homeschool Bloggers: We Want You!

Sketch by Olga Berrios

Do you have a favorite blog post about math activities, games, lessons, or hands-on fun? The Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) math education blog carnival would love to feature your article!

We welcome math topics from preschool through the first year of 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

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.

Don’t procrastinate: The deadline for entries is this Friday, December 1. The carnival will be posted next week at Let’s Play Math blog.

Would You Like to Host the Carnival?

Hosting the blog carnival is fun because you get to “meet” new bloggers through their submissions. And there’s a side-benefit: The carnival often brings a nice little spike in traffic to your blog.

If you think you’d like to join in the fun, read the instructions on our Math Teachers at Play page.

Then leave a comment or email me to let me know which month you’d like to take.

Explore the Other Math Carnivals

While you’re waiting for next week’s Math Teachers at Play carnival, here are a couple of links you may enjoy:


“Chica usando ordenador” sketch by Olga Berrios (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.


How You Can Play with Math #113 at Three J’s Learning

Check out the new carnival of playful math for all ages!

Each carnival brings you a great new collection of puzzles, math conversations, crafts, teaching tips, and all sorts of mathy fun.

This month we have whole-body math, notice-and-wonder puzzles, a game to build math vocabulary, intransitive dice, making sense of trig identities, and playing Go on a hundred chart. And plenty more!

Click Here to Read the Carnival Blog

Hey, Blogger, Can You Spare a Time?

We need help!

Do you write an education or family blog? Classroom teacher, math coach, homeschooler, parent, college professor, unschooler — anyone interested in helping kids play around with math?

Please consider volunteering to host the MTaP blog carnival for one month.

We still need a home for the last carnival of 2017.

Or plan ahead: 2018 is wide open.

You choose the month that fits your schedule and decide how much effort you want to put in. Writing the carnival can take a couple of hours for a simple post — or you can spend several days searching out and polishing playful math gems to share.

If you want more information, read the MTaP Math Education Blog Carnival home page.

Then let me know which month you want.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


How You Can Play with Math #112 at Find the Factors

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

The carnival features comics, literature, talking with kids, favorite numbers, classroom management, a bulletin board that actually gets read, and plenty of math art. Along with several fantastic math puzzles to explore.

Click here to go read the carnival blog

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

Past carnivals are still full of mathy treasure. Check them out:


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


How You Can Play with Math #111 at High Heels and No. 2 Pencils

Check out the new carnival of playful math for all ages!

Each carnival brings you a great new collection of puzzles, math conversations, crafts, teaching tips, and all sorts of mathy fun.

This month we have math puzzles for bedtime, number talks for students of all ages, and play tables for high school students. And more!

Click Here to Read the Carnival Blog

Hey, Blogger, Can You Spare a Time?

We need help!

Do you write an education or family blog? Classroom teacher, math coach, homeschooler, parent, college professor, unschooler — anyone interested in helping kids play around with math?

Please consider volunteering to host the MTaP blog carnival for one month.

We still need volunteer hosts for fall semester 2017.

Or plan ahead: 2018 is wide open.

You choose the month that fits your schedule and decide how much effort you want to put in. Writing the carnival can take a couple of hours for a simple post — or you can spend several days searching out and polishing playful math gems to share.

If you want more information, read the MTaP Math Education Blog Carnival home page.

Then let me know which month you want.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


How You Can Play with Math #110 at Three J’s Learning

Check out the new playful math blog carnival at Three J’s Learning blog. Joshua has put together a great collection of math games, activities, and teaching tips:

The carnival features shape puzzles, absolute value, prime numbers, pigs in pens, fair sharing, talking with kids, thoughtful essays, and even explosions. Along with a tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani, with mathematical ideas to explore in her honor.

Click here to go read the carnival blog

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

Past carnivals are still full of mathy treasure. Check them out:


CREDITS: “Inscribed Polyhedron” photo by thekirbster via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


How You Can Play with Math #109 at Math Mama Writes

Check out the new carnival of playful math for all ages at Math Mama Writes blog. Each month’s carnival brings you a great new collection of puzzles, math conversations, crafts, teaching tips, and all sorts of mathy fun.

This month’s post features books, animations, puzzles, and games. Early math, high school math, and writing in math class. Probability, statistics, and teaching tips. And much more!

Click Here to Read the Carnival Blog

Hey, Blogger, Can You Spare a Time?

Do you write an education or family blog? Classroom teacher, math coach, homeschooler, parent, college professor, unschooler — anyone interested in helping kids play around with math? Please consider volunteering to host the MTaP blog carnival for one month.

We still need volunteer hosts for fall semester 2017. Or plan ahead: 2018 is wide open.

You choose the month that fits your schedule and decide how much effort you want to put in. Writing the carnival can take a couple of hours for a simple post — or you can spend several days searching out and polishing playful math gems to share.

If you want more information, read the MTaP Math Education Blog Carnival home page. Then let me know which month you want.


CREDITS: Organ of Notre-Dame de Paris photo by Eric Chan via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).

howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.