Overcoming Confirmation Bias with the 2, 4, 6 Puzzle

The promise of mathematics is that it will teach students to think. Sadly, there’s been no solid evidence that math class actually succeeds, statistically speaking, in achieving this end. A pessimist would conclude it’s a hopeless project. But far more likely is that math classes, statistically speaking, haven’t been spending much time doing tasks that lead students to think, or …

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Poetry, botany, arithmetic, memorization

It’s probably a coincidence, but last weeks NYTimes had two articles in the Sunday Review on the value of memorizing relatively arcane knowledge. Memorize that Poem! Cure Yourself of Tree Blindness One encourages readers to commit poems to memory, and recite them to each other; the other encourages us to learn the names of the trees that surround us, and …

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Math Teacher Circles

  In the run up to the upcoming year of Math Teacher Circles, we decided to offer a kickoff workshop for 4th – 8th grade teachers to drum up some excitement for the upcoming year. (The “we” in this case is myself, from Math for Love, and Jayadev Athreya of the Washington Experimental Math Lab, run through the UW.) This …

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Math Games to Play at Home & NMF2017 Retrospective

I’m hosting a math night for parents and students tonight at a local elementary school tonight. These are always fun events, because I get to preach how games and puzzles are some of the best ways to support math understanding at home We get to play said games and puzzles and have a great time. See the bottom of this …

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Raymond Smullyan

The logician and puzzle-maker Raymond Smullyan died yesterday at the age of 97. After reports circulating on twitter, the news was confirmed, and articles in memorium have begun to appear. Smullyan was a brilliant designer of puzzles, and his books, especially The Riddle of Scheherezade, had a big impact on me. His idea of coercive logic, in particular, impressed me …

January Newsletter

Reposting our last email newsletter to the blog. If you’d like to sign up on our email list, click here. January News from Math for Love Loss: A farewell to Sid the goat Birth: Tiny Polka Dot Arrives Julia Robinson Math Festival registration is open Math for Love Winter Class registration is open Problem of the Moment Loss: A farewell …

A Math Magic Trick

I’ve been meaning to write this lesson up for a long time. Finally, here it is, in all its glory. You can check it out below, or find it here on the lessons page. This trick is an extraordinary introduction to the power of algebraic thinking, and a reminder of what makes algebra so awe-inspiring. When I was in middle …

Warm Ups: Number Talks and More

In my last blog post, I wrote about creating Doing-Math and Thinking-Math classrooms. One small but important ingredient I’ve found helpful for both is a good warmup activity. The goal of the warmup activity is to get students thinking and active right away. The barrier to entry should be extremely low, so that everyone can able to participate. It’s a …

The Doing/Thinking/Loving Math Classroom

This summer, we had the opportunity to draw up and institute a wholesale program from scratch, using our own lesson plans and providing the PD and support. Following that program, we began some fascinating conversations about how to articulate our vision of excellent math classrooms in more detail. From 30,000 feet, the direction we want everyone to move feels clear: …

App Review: Exploring the Core

I just downloaded a new app that I think will be helpful reference! It’s called Exploring the Core. (At last check, it was $2.99.) It is, essentially, an easy-to-use encyclopedia of Common Core math content standards. It includes a list of the standards, by grade, and a glossary to help you understand what all the terms mean. So, handy, though …