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.
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
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.
Mountain Climber Problem: A Nice Follow up to Graphing Stories - A climber leaves base camp at 6AM one day, climbs up to the peak and arrives at 6PM. The next day, she leaves the peak at 6 AM, and begins to climb down. At a certain point on the trail, she notices that she was at exactly the same spot at exactly the same time on the previous day on the way up. The question is: What are the chances of this happening?
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
KITES & DARTS: British mathematician Roger Penrose created a plane of beautiful, endless variation with just two shapes, kites and darts, se...
Function of the Week Idea
Function of the Week
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.
A Really, Really Cool Website For Students Who Think They Hate Math