The Playful Math Education Carnival (formerly “Math Teachers at Play”) is a monthly collection of mathy fun: tips, tidbits, games, activities, and more.
It’s like a free online magazine of mathematical adventures. If you like to learn new things and play around with ideas, you are sure to find something of interest.
Submissions are ALWAYS open. We’d love to have you join us!
We welcome entries from parents, students, teachers, homeschoolers, and just plain folks. Posts must offer a playful approach to some topic in school-level mathematics (that is, anything from preschool up through first-year calculus) or recreational math. Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in recent editions of this carnival.
To submit a blog article for consideration, fill out this form:
Current and Upcoming Carnival Dates
We normally schedule the Playful Math Education carnival for the last week of each month, with the exact day of publication left to the host blogger’s discretion.
- Current edition: Playful Math Education Carnival 123 at Let’s Play Math
- January 28–31: Carnival 124 at Life Through A Mathematician’s Eyes
- February 25–28: Carnival 125 at …
- March 25–29: Carnival 126 at Math Mama Writes
- April 22–26: Carnival 127 at …
- May 27–31: Carnival 128 at …
- June 24–28: Carnival 129 at Math Hombre
- July 22–26: Carnival 130 at …
- August 26–30: Carnival 131 at …
- September 23–27: Carnival 132 at …
- October 28–31: Carnival 133 at Arithmophobia No More
- November 25–December 6: Carnival 134 at Math Hombre
- 2020: All months are open, if you like to plan ahead.
- Browse all the past editions of the Playful Math Education blog carnival on Pinterest or by scrolling backward down my blog.
Would You Like to Host the Carnival?
The carnival is a joint effort. We need more volunteers.
Classroom teachers, homeschoolers, college professors, unschoolers, or anyone who likes to play around with math — if you would like to take a turn hosting the carnival, please speak up!
How to host a blog carnival, in Six Easy Steps …
Step 1: Get Signed Up
Check the upcoming editions list above. If a future month isn’t listed, assume it’s free. Choose an open date that fits with your schedule.
You can leave a comment here or email me directly to let me know your choice.
Step 2: Receive Submissions
Post a “Call for Submissions” request on your blog a week or two before your carnival, so readers can submit entries directly to you. Meanwhile, Google Docs will be collecting posts from the submission form.
Sometime during the weekend before your carnival, I will download the Google spreadsheet of submitted posts and email it to you.
Unfortunately, if you rely only on submissions, your carnival post will be too skimpy to attract readers. You’ll need to fill out the carnival with favorite links from your blog reader or Twitter feed.
Step 3: Sort Out the Spam
Update: Since we switched to the Google Docs submission form, we have gotten very little spam. We still have to be cautious, but it’s not nearly the problem it used to be.
Keep in mind Dan Meyer’s warning, Stop Linking To “Top 100 Blogs” Lists.
Even if a submission is not spammy, you do NOT have to include it in your carnival post if you don’t want to. Sometimes people submit posts that feel too commercial, or that just don’t fit the “playful math” theme.
The carnival is a guest on your blog, but you are still in charge. Don’t feel obligated to post anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Step 4: Write Your Post
You 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.
I try to start writing a draft of my blog carnival post long before my deadline. I collect pictures (good advice on finding pictures here) and quotations whenever I find something I like, and enter them into my post ahead of time. If I have the framework in place, then all I have to add at the last minute are the submission links, and the job doesn’t seem overwhelming.
Make sure you have the right to use any image you post. Either create a graphic yourself, or find something marked “Creative Commons” —and then follow the CC rules and give credit to the artist/photographer.
Step 5: Add Something Extra
We don’t have a fixed pattern for what a blog carnival post should look like.
Our partner carnival, the Carnival of Mathematics, traditionally begins with trivia about the carnival number, and many Playful Math Education hosts have followed in their footsteps. Others have introduced their carnivals with riddles or puzzles about the carnival number. (See, for example, Carnival #20.)
Somewhere within your post, it’s nice to add a link to the current edition of the Carnival of Mathematics. They in turn should link back to your post — or rather, the next edition of the carnival should do so, if they remember. In this way, we help support each other.
Step 6: Time To Publish
Putting together a blog carnival can be a lot of work, but I hope you will enjoy “meeting” new bloggers through their submissions. I love that part of being a host.
When your carnival is finally published, you may want to email or tweet all the participating bloggers and encourage them to post a link on their own blogs or social media. Whether you send out a request for links or not, you will almost certainly get several math bloggers linking to your carnival. Everyone has been very supportive that way.
I think that’s everything you need to know about how to host a blog carnival. But if you have any other questions, please ask.
And thank you for volunteering to host the carnival!
[Photo by Bob Jagendorf.]