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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.

Bill Gates Proportions II: "The median American family has a net worth of about $100 thousand. Bill Gates has a net worth of $56 billion. If Average Jane Homeschooler spends $100 in the vendor hall, what would be the equivalent expense for Gates?..."

Putting Bill Gates in Proportion: "The average household income in the United States is $60,000/year. And a man’s annual income is $56 billion. Is there a way to figure out what this man’s value of $1mil is, compared to the person who earns $60,000/year?...

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...

Teaching Quadratics using M&M Catapults! "When the kids are consistent and do their calculations correctly, they will hit the center of the target with ease. It's one of the all too rare opportunities that students get to see that the math they did directly affected something in real life..."

Favorite challenging math puzzles: "In February 2014, I asked my subscribers for their favorite math puzzle. This collection is the result—a list of puzzles chosen by teachers and parents!"

Calculus-Help.com: Survive calculus class! - Tutorials for the Calculus Phobe & practice problems workouts, blog by the author of "The Humongous Book of Calculus Problems"

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...

"Different perspective on graphing. Had each student solve 2x-3 = ( ). Gave each students a different number to replace the (). The students solved and graphed their solution on a separate number line. We then built a cartesian graph 2x-3=y by stacking the graphs in order. Pretty awesome and the students loved it!"

Hands-on Surface Area of Prisms: "I think the hands-on experience of finding the surface area of multiple rectangular prisms helped them to understand the process of needing to find the area of each face and then add them together to get the total surface area..."

Distance & Midpoint on a Map: "I ran a copy of grid paper on a transparency and overlayed on a map of school – copied, added a rough set of axes. Placed points throughout..."

"I love story problems. Like a detective, I enjoy sifting out clues and solving the mystery. But what do you do when you come across a real stumper?..."

"Fibonacci meets Pythagoras": Each square's area is the sum of the two that came before, thanks to the Pythagorean Theorem.

Who Killed Professor X? is a work of fiction based on actual incidents, and its heroes are real people who left their mark on the history of mathematics. The murder...

Quadratics Scavenger Hunt: "I have posted problems all around the room that the students have to walk around and work on. In the bottom right corner of each problem is the answer to another problem...."

Horizontal, Vertical, Parallel and Perpendicular Lines Game: Download and print. Looks like fun!

Make a 3D cutout fractal and turn it into a pop-up card.

Pondering Large Numbers: "Human intuition serves us well for the numbers we normally deal with from day to day, but it has a hard time with numbers outside our experi..."

"TRANSFORMERS graphic organizer! A graphic organizer helps me know how their notes are organized, and lets me organize them in a way that I believe is less confusing for students..."

Factoring Game: Blend of block game/connect 4

How can students make sense of taking away a negative quantity? Danica McKellar, author of KissMyMath.com, describing walking a dog...

A Pop-Up Sierpinski Valentine Card: "Start by taking a sheet of paper and folding it in half. Next, you want to make a cut along the fold. Measure halfway along..."

Use the digits in the year 2014 to write mathematical expressions for the counting numbers 1 through 100. The goal is adjustable by age: You...

Hit Me! (A Math Game) One player (the dealer) shuffles the math cards and deals one card face down for each player, beginning with the player on his left and proc...

"Over the last decades, the Multiplication Tower idea has been appearing in many different projects... Kids and their grown-ups build multiplication towers using many kinds of materials: wooden blocks, LEGO bricks, software and 3D printing, and beads."

Graphing Go Fish - Goal is to get as many pairs as possible (a graph and a matching equation).