Billiard Ball Problem

The Billiard Ball Problem is a beautiful exploration of a situation both natural and novel. Great for problem solving, with connections to ratio and proportion. Also check out this Billiard Ball simulator on Scratch.

Math Magic Trick

This trick is an extraordinary introduction to the power of algebraic thinking, and a reminder of what makes algebra so awe-inspiring. A video Launch for this lesson is available in two parts. PDF of the lesson is below the videos. Part 1. When using as a class launch, stop at 2:45 and let the class come up try to find …

Pig

  Topics: probability, strategy, addition, estimation Materials: One 6-sided die, pencil and paper Recommended grades: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Common Core: For Pig and Big Pig:1.OA.A.1, 1.OA.A.2, 1.NBT.C.4, 2.OA.B.2, 2.NBT.B.5, 2.NBT.B.6, 3.NBT.A.2 For Odd Pig Out: 3.OA.A.3, 3.OA.B.5, 3.OA.C.7 , 4.NBT.B.4,, 4.NBT.B.5, 4.MD.B.4,, 5.NBT.B.5, 5.MD.B.2, 6.SP.A.1, 6.SP.A.2, 6.SP.A.2, 6.SP.B.5 Roll the dice and collect points. You can go as long as …

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Number Talks

Topics: Mental math, numerical fluency; argument & critique Materials: White board or projector Time:5 – 15 minutes Common Core: Variable, but especially MP3 This mental math routine creates powerful positive habits for students. Why We Love Number Talks Number talks don’t replace other instruction, but they are a powerful complement to it. They get all students involved, help them strengthen fluency, intuition, …

Counterexamples

Topics: logic, deduction, mathematical argument, communication Materials: None Recommended Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Common Core: Variable, but especially MP3 Proving the teacher wrong. Rigorously. Why We Love Counterexamples Every kid loves to prove the teacher wrong. With Counterexamples, they get to do this in a productive way, and learn appropriate mathematical skepticism and communication …

Multiplication Table Sums

Topics: Multiplication, summation, patterns and structure Materials: Multiplication table, pencil and paper Grade: 4, 5, 6 Common Core: 4.OA.1, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.5, 5.OA.2, 5.OA.3, 6.RP.1, 6.EE.1,  MP1, MP2, MP3, MP6, MP7, MP8. This is a great puzzle for kids who have some comfort with multiplication but still need to deepen their understanding. It gets them looking at the multiplication table …