Sunday, June 19, 2016

Math Teachers at Play #99 Blog Carnival

Welcome to the Math Teachers at Play #99 Blog Carnival, a "monthly smorgasbord of links to bloggers all around the internet who have great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math," originated by Denise Gaskins.  Let her know if you are interested in hosting in the future!

Here are some interesting facts about the number 99:

  1. There is a Chinese Proverb that says, "If you wish to live to the age of 99, please walk 100 steps after each meal.
  2. The sum of the cubes of 2, 3, and 4 equals 99.
  3. 99 is the atomic number of Einsteinium. It was discovered in 1952, in the debris of the first H-bomb explosion and named after Albert Einstein.
  4. Some famous songs involving the number are 99 Bottles of Beer, 99 Luftballons, and 99 Problems.
  5. It is a Kaprekar Number, which means when you square it, it can be split into two parts that add to itself, meaning: 99x99 = 9801, and 98 + 01 = 99.
  6. 99 is a Palindromic Number.

Here are some interesting posts that were either submitted or saved in my blog feed from the month of June so far:


  • I really enjoy the videos posted by @preshtalwalkar, such as this month's The Flower Math Problem. My students also love them. In this post, he claims, "Allegedly this problem comes from a test given to a Chinese kindergarten class. It caused a stir after it was posted online, with many adults debating the answer, some saying it was impossible. Can you figure it out?" 

  • @emilygrosvenor declared June 17 as "World Tessellation Day" in 10 Ways to Celebrate World Tessellation Day, and the world listened. In her guest post, she shows "10 great ways to play with tessellations, learn about then, and introduce them to your children." Below is a video she posted to show how to make a simple tessellating pattern from a square. 

  • Here is another awesome post about World Tessellation Day from @mathhombre. Check it out to see his gallery of tessellations!
  • Here's a shameless plug for my blog, where, this week, I talk about how I am writing a textbook this summer for my Honors Problem-Solving class. It's a semester class made up of bright students grades 9 - 12. Here is my first Problem Set that students will work on individually as a week-long homework assignment. I got a lot of great feedback on it and added a few diagrams, etc, and hope it will be a great first set for my students--thanks to the help of #MTBoS.


    • I really like these review games from @TheMathGiraffe, who's Twitter cover page rightly claims "The perfect mix of fun and rigor!" I love that for my classroom, but it's hard to come up with neat review ideas. These are perfect for grades 6 - 12 and they are clever and different. I also follow Math Giraffe on Pinterest, and you should too :)

    Things that make you go, teaching:

    • In Why Do We Ask Word Problems In Math? from @MIND_Research, mathematician Brandon Smith asks you to "think deeply about why we ask word problems in the first place," and offers "actionable tips for how you can create better word problems for your students."

    • My friend @mrdardy wrote up a nice list of How To Succeed in Math Class. I will be sure to share this with my students next year, as often students who are not strong in math think they just "can't do it." But they don't realize that there is a method to the madness of "studying" for math. 
    • @ddmeyer is always writing awesome posts that get you to THINK about the most effective ways to teach math. In his recent blog, Your GPS is Making You Dumber, he discusses that teachers should avoid "GPS-ing" their students, that is to say, don't give them step-by-step instructions for how to solve a problem. I know it's easier to use a GPS, but will you really know how to get from point A to point B by yourself if you use one? It's a great read and certainly makes me think, why is it that students seem to forget everything from the last unit once we start the new unit? This post and the comments are a fascinating read. 

    Something for the younger kids:

    • Here is Denise Gaskins' latest in her Math FAQ for Parents: FAQ: He Won't Stop Finger-Counting. Denise discusses how counting on one's fingers is not a 'bad' habit, it's a crutch. She offers ideas to try to help kids "develop that transfer of skills" to begin to count mentally. 

    I am going to leave you with one more thing, since my blog IS called's a recipe for what I made for Father's Day today, Raspberry Tiramisu, chosen by my husband...let's hope it tastes as good as it looks!


    Denise Gaskins said...

    Great selection of posts -- looking forward to browsing through them this week. Thanks for hosting!

    John Golden said...

    Thanks for including me! I felt bad about not getting you a link in time.

    Nice job hosting!

    Unknown said...

    How to teach mathematics effectively is still very much a concern.

    Yours sincerely,
    Coursework Writers UK

    Evan Raymonds said...

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