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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.

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

Teaching students to truly understand equations with variables 06MTR14LC23

Inventing the Orangamallow: All about Orangamallows

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

Summarizing Statistics (Bell Curve Distribution)

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

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

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

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

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

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

funny zombie math | Mathspig Blog

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

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

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

Paper Protractor....would be nice to have students calculate the angles/prove why folding it that way generates those angles. Might be useful for kids building projects in Ag Mech class

Toys from Trash

8 Basic Algebraic Curves {poster or reference page idea}

Eight Basic Algebraic Curves - For Dummies

Amazing infinite sum: a quarter plus 2 eighths plus 3 sixteenths plus 4 thirtytwoths... =1 And be sure to check out the video in the comments, too.

Proof Without Words: Two Dimensional Geometric Series

KITES & DARTS: British mathematician Roger Penrose created a plane of beautiful, endless variation with just two shapes, kites and darts, se...

For my perfectionist daughter, one mistake was excuse enough to quit. She leaned her head against me as we sat together on the couch and said, “We’re done. Done, done, done.” Still, I managed to squeeze in one more puzzle...

More Than One Way to Solve It

Function of the Week Idea

Function of the Week

project reviews slope, midpoints, distance formula, proportional relationships, slope-intercept form, and solving systems of linear equations in one assignment! :D

Mrs. W's Math-Connection: Water Park Project

KenKen is a puzzle game that helps students improve their calculation skills, logical thinking and persistence. The goal is to fill a grid with numbers so that no number appears more than once in any row or column. In addition, the numbers must combine to form a target number using a specific operation.

Math Hombre: Exponential Potential Starting exponential functions with an art lesson---the idea is the multiplicative patterns present in a Sierpinski Carpet.

Math Hombre: Exponential Potential

Egyptian Geometry and Other Challenges: Would you like to study “the knowledge of all existing things and all obscure secrets”? That is how Scribe Ahmose (also translated Ahmes) de...

Egyptian Geometry and Other Challenges