Show your math pride with this Math for Love T-shirt.
This amazing tee, is soft, stylish and above all comfortable.
Want to play a great game? It’s called 1-2 Nim. Let’s start with a heap of seven beans. We take turns taking away 1 or 2 beans from the heap. The person who takes the last bean wins.
Let’s call today Avoid Triangles at all Costs (ATAAC) Day, It’s called Don’t Make a Triangle. We will be playing with equilateral triangles made out of three same-colored dots. Our goal is to eliminate these triangles.
Let’s call the players Red and Blue. Red and Blue alternate connecting any two dots that have not yet been connected. The ﬁrst player to make a triangle on the dots with sides entirely of that player’s color loses.
The 8 Queens Puzzle is a classic conundrum of the chess/logic/math variety: how do you place eight queens on a chessboard so that no two queens are attacking each other?
Starting and ending at zero, your goal is to draw a continuous straight-line path that hits every point without creating any acute or right angles at those points.
The pilgrim has no money, and has no intention of leaving with any. How can she travel to the southeast corner of Duona without owing or receiving any silver?
Call a number “squareable” if it’s possible to build a square out of precisely that many squares. For example, 11 is squareable: 11 squares can be fit together to perfectly form another square.
I’ve often had a gut feeling that we actually invest life into math questions that grab us. Here’ s a question I like:
How does a bishop behave on a torus chess board?
The question comes down to motivation, as it so often does, and I give myself a hard time. It doesn’t strike me as fair to ask students to do arbitrary activities, even if there’s some idea I want them to get out of it.
I had a great session the other day with two wonderful kids, age 5 and 7. After warming up with a quick game of Hex, we jumped into our activity for the hour: playing with pattern blocks.
I took this picture of two of my students, and I had to share it. The satisfaction and excitement are so palpable.
I love pattern blocks, and here’s why.
It sure looks like we’ve built a parallelogram, doesn’t it? The amazing fact here is that no matter what quadrilateral you start with, you always get a parallelogram when you connect the midpoints.
Here’s a fun lesson that I just did with a group of 2-3 graders. I would say that all but one or two of them loved it. For me, it created a nice connection between magic squares.
Every kid needs to learn their times tables at some point, and this means practice. Unfortunately, practicing times tables can be unmotivated and boring for kids. We adults, rightly, ask, “How can we make it fun?”
With some playing around, we came up with what I think is an excellent (and solvable) puzzle, dubbed the Dr Square puzzle, because it involves one of the steps in taking the digital root (dr) and squaring numbers. Here’s how it goes.
Here is a phenomenal lesson, accessible to any child who knows how to subtract, and compelling to everyone, up to and including professional mathematicians. Get a kid engaged in it, and they’ll do hundreds of subtraction problems without complaint.
If art requires inspiration, and math is an art, then my job is, in part, to provide inspiration. I brought in a chessboard. What are some questions we could ask about it?
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