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Playful Math for Middle & High School

As our children (and their parents!) play around with mathematical ideas and the relationships between them, we develop deep understanding that is strong enough to support future learning.

Mr Collins Mathematics Blog: Constructions resources using 'Comic Life' --- I love these guides to geometry constructions. So cool!

Angle Sum Theorem: It's not a rigorous proof, but it's a start. Helps students internalize the principle that the angles of a triangle = a straight line.

Teaching in Special Education: Angle Sum Theorem

teachinginspecialeducation.blogspot.com

What a cool set of first-day activities! Designed for Algebra II, but could easily be adjusted for other classes.

Playing Uno - The combine like terms version - The fun thing - it actually worked! Here are the details, the cards I used ..

Game: Target Number (or 24). Shuffle the deck, and deal four cards face down to each player. (For larger target numbers, such as 48 or 100, deal five or six cards to eac...

Game: Target Number (or 24)

letsplaymath.net

An Ancient Typo: "This is probably the most famous image of Pascal’s Triangle in math history (Yang Hui’s triangle, from the 13th century). It was on the cove..."

The Linear Inequality Adventures of Ohio Jones: "So far, she’s enjoying it much more than the textbook lesson. It’s fascinating to me how the mere hint of fantasy adventure can change graph..."

The Linear Inequality Adventures of Ohio Jones

letsplaymath.net

A site that has EVERY 3D shape imaginable as a PDF so your kids can print, cut, fold and glue! Even lists the number of faces, edges, and vertices.

Pictures of Platonic Solids

korthalsaltes.com

This is a game I play with my students to practice corresponding angles, alt. interior, alt. exterior, supplementary, same side interior. They must place feet in the type of angles I call out. (Got from YouTube video)

Curve Sketching, "Square Root of Negative One" Sketching f' from f: Students were all "Oh, now I get it!" Love those words!

square root of negative one teach math: Sketching f' from f

squarerootofnegativeoneteachmath.blogspot.com

Teaching students to truly understand equations with variables 06MTR14LC23

Inventing the Orangamallow: All about Orangamallows

orangamallows.blogspot.com

Summarizing the Bell Curve - Useful for interpreting statistical reports and formal measurement results.

Summarizing Statistics (Bell Curve Distribution)

zazzle.com

Algebra Taboo: My co-teacher and I went through all the Integrated Algebra regents given since 2008 and pulled out any words that it’s possible a student might not know. I also went through my own lessons and pulled out any vocabulary I had given them. Below is the pdf for printing your own...

Algebra Taboo | The Roots of the Equation

rootsoftheequation.wordpress.com

Ive seen a few variations of using the famous game Battleship in math class.  Who among us hasnt used it (or at least the concept) when reinforcing graphing coordinate pairs? Taking it in a slightly more advanced direction, lets make a 4 quadrant Battleship grid.  And lets require kids to write equations in slope-intercept form, graph them, and develop a strategy for this process. (Putting equations in point-slope would be a great substitute if you want one.) P1

i is a number: Slope-Intercept Form Battleship

iisanumber.blogspot.com.au

One of the great unsolved problems of antiquity was to trisect any angle using only the basic tools of Euclidean geometry: an unmarked straight-edge and a compass. Like the alchemist’s dream of turning lead into gold, this proved to be an impossible task. If you want to trisect an angle, you have to “cheat.”

Puzzle: Patty Paper Trisection

letsplaymath.net

Raymond Smullyan Excerpts at Dover Publications: To celebrate their re-release of his classic puzzle books, the Dover Math and Science Newsletter featured an interview with Raymond Smullyan...

Raymond Smullyan Excerpts at Dover Publications

letsplaymath.net

A math major talks about fear! I'm gona show this at the beginning of every year! Awesome!

The distance formula in rectangular (Cartesian) coordinates is the Pythagorean Theorem in disguise. A lot of my students like this explanation. It helps build off of knowledge that they already have from geometry.

More Than One Way To Find the Center of a Circle: Pick one side of the debate, and try to find at least three different ways to prove your point.

More Than One Way To Find the Center of a Circle

letsplaymath.net

Graph the motion of zombies to teach rate. My boys would LOVE this!

funny zombie math | Mathspig Blog

mathspig.wordpress.com

This activity allows the user to enter a set of data, plot the data on a coordinate grid, and determine the equation for a line of best fit.

Line of Best Fit

illuminations.nctm.org

Mountain Climber Problem: A Nice Follow up to Graphing Stories... I love this problem because the answer becomes totally clear when you make a time vs. elevation graph – and the answer violates nearly everyone’s expectations and leads to a surprise!

Mountain Climber Problem: A Nice Follow up to Graphing Stories

17goldenfish.com

Volume in Calculus: Letting students conceptualize something on their own before bringing in mathematical language and notation makes it more likely that the notation will aid in their understanding rather than provide another hurdle in learning.

Volume in Calculus: Conceptualizing before Formalizing

bowmandickson.com