Friday, July 10, 2009

Math Mama Writes...: Math Teachers at Play #11

Math Mama Writes...: Math Teachers at Play #11

The new Carnival is up, with Michigan Smith. I was interested in the Spirograph link. I've been trying to figure out a way to use spirograph to explore gear ratios for a cool fraction lesson.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michigan Smith

This is a fun game that I've used 2nd-4th grade and at a family math night with some older kids. Also with my preservice teachers, of course. It practices measurement technique and familiarity with cm, as well as sneaking in some geometry about efficient paths and distances. There's not a lot of strategy, but there is some. The downside to the game is needing a new sheet each time you play - unless you laminate, of course.

The name Michigan Smith is my takeoff on Indiana Jones. This would be an easy game to dress up, or have kids make their own variation. The Gauntlet of Power picture is from the Magic the Gathering card of the same name, and is tm Wizards of the Coast.

The pdf is here at my faculty website. As an image it's below. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


From my brother:
A mathematician was confronted by his wife upon returning home at 3am.
'You said you'd be home at 11:45,' stated the wife.
'I said I would return at a quarter of twelve,' said the husband.

The funniest thing is that I'm always having these kind of conversations. Not from staying out too late, but from being too literal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

For your listening and viewing pleasure

One of the many interesting ceiling panels.

Goals of Math Ed
Arthur Benjamin, self-proclaimed mathemagician and a very popular mathematician among teaching mathematicians, at TED on why calculus is not an appropriate pinnacle for math education. To be replaced by: discrete mathematics (statistics and probability).

Teacher Props
Taylor Mali, teacher/slam poet on What Teachers Make. One of my calc students shared this. As Mike warned me, I'll warn you: profanity.

Interesting glass floor and 6 or 7 story dome of the main rotunda.

An audio link from the new teacher resource center: an audio interview with Suzanne Lieurance, a teacher trainer and children's author, about planning in threes. There's a lot here that's compatible with workshop teaching, emphasis on assessment and evaluation and teaching for engagement. A form for note taking is in the post here.

The graphics are from the beautifully restored Michigan State Capitol that we visited this weekend, which include a couple of nice mathematical designs . Lots of nice 4-, 8- and 16-fold rotational symmetry. And much nice frieze-type translational symmetry, too. The architect was Elijah Meyers, and this was his crowning work.