Activity Posts

Activity

Don’t Say 13 and Other Nim Games

This week, we will be looking at two different two-player games. “Don’t Say 13” was developed at the San Francisco Math Circle, while Nim is an ancient game possibly originating from China. We’ll analyze strategies for both games and talk about how to create new variations on them.  Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Don’t Say 13 The

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Activity

Four Activities from Math Monday

This week we’re highlighting a few activities previously demonstrated on Math Monday by Puzzle Master and Math Monday founder Scott Kim. You can also view these broadcasts and more on our Math Monday Youtube Playlist. Facebook Twitter Bongard Problems https://youtu.be/w5oprHOE0NU In this session, student learn about Bongard Problems — logic puzzles named for Russian computer scientist Mikhail Bongard, who included many

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Activity

Skyscrapers

This week’s activity features a city planner creating an urban neighborhood populated by skyscrapers of different heights. We will be exploring the problem as presented by Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF) through an online applet. We will also be giving some tips to get students started with this activity. Facebook Twitter Click here for the Skyscrapers online applet to share

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Prejudiced Polygons

This week’s activity features a neighborhood populated by Squares and Triangles that are slightly “shapist” (but only slightly) and don’t seem to coexist too well.  We’ll be exploring “Parable of the Polygons” by Vi Hart and Nicky Case and giving some tips to get students started with this activity. Facebook Twitter Click here for the lesson plan on Desmos Activity

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Activity

Frog Jumping & Stack Up

This week’s activity is a great puzzle to work on with materials lying around the house, or using our online applet.  This problem was first inspired by MathPickle.com and their activity Jumping Frogs, with Stack Up developed by the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival and the Math Teachers’ Circle Network. Facebook Twitter Jumping Frogs The main goal of this puzzle is to get a

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Humans, Zombies, & Other Problems crossing the river

This activity takes a couple of classic logic puzzles and adapts them to better suit K-12 audiences. It was designed in the Desmos Activity Builder, so it can be played online and easily given to a classroom of students. The activity as presented was developed at the San Francisco Math Circle, and was recently featured on MathCommunities.org’s Math Monday Live program.  Facebook Twitter

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Activity

Puppies & Kittens and Queens Move

For this week, we’re going to look at two very different activities that show a surprising result when presented together. Puppies and Kittens was first presented by Paul Zeitz for the Math Teachers’ Circle Network, and Queen’s Move is more commonly known as Wythoff’s game. Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Puppies & kittens A local animal shelter has

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Activity

Mind Reading with Math

Here’s a great activity to impress students, friends, and family and show off what you can do with a little bit of creativity and some clever mathematics. This activity as presented was developed at the San Francisco Math Circle. Facebook Twitter To start this activity you need four cards with numbers written out as so: For the Math Mind Reading Trick,

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Activity

Let’s Make A Deal with Monty!

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter A prize is hidden behind one of three doors.  You choose the door where you think the prize is hidden. But before the door is opened, one of the other 2 remaining doors is opened to reveal no prize.  You must now decide to keep your original door choice or to switch

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Activity

An Endless Story

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Do stories repeat?  They most certainly do on a Möbius strip!  The Möbius strip, or Möbius band, is named after August Ferdinand Möbius, a 19th century German mathematician and astronomer who was a pioneer in the field of topology. (The strip was also discovered independently at around the same time by Johann

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Activity

Remainder Patches!

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter This fun activity, suggested for Grades 2 – 6,  has students visually discover why some division problems end up with remainders and some do not by filling paper “quilts” with paper “patches.”  Win the game with the most leftover “remainder patches”! Quilt Quilt Patches Materials (for each team of 2 players): Six,

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Tricky Tactics with Tangrams!

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter For centuries, people have been fascinated by tangrams, a Chinese puzzle consisting of pictures made from seven specific geometric shapes known as “tans,” or “pieces of cleverness.” But even if you’re aren’t familiar with Tangrams, what are they and how do they relate to math? This week’s activity, recommended for Grades 3

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How to Create Our Interlocking Tetrahedra Logo

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter A tetrahedron (plural: tetrahedra or tetrahedrons), also known as a triangular pyramid, is a polyhedron composed of 4 triangular faces, 6 straight edges, and 4 vertex corners (vertices). Our newsletter logo is made of 5 interlocking tetrahedra. Each is shown in a different color and is made from 6 strips of paper with dimensions in the ratio

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The Gobbling Math Turkey Game

Facebook Twitter Here’s a game that’s sure to get you into a gobbly good mood for Thanksgiving while reinforcing your knowledge of the order of mathematical operations at the very same time!  All you need are the following items to get started:  One 6-sided die A one-minute timer (a watch or kitchen timer works well) Pens or pencils Scratch paper

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SETS, Planets, and Comets

Original Print This article was original published by the Mathematical Association of America in The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 44, No. 4 (September 2013), pp. 258-264 The Authors Mark Baker teaches at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, CA. Jane Beltran teaches at Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville, CA. Jason Buell teaches at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View.

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Tie Folding

Let p be an odd prime. (Generalizations to p simply being an odd number way at end of this article.) Suppose a tie is folded with proportion a / p to the left of the fold and proportion b / p to the right of the fold, with a + b = p. Precisely one of a or b is

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Polygons & prejudice 2.0

Reflections from Anne: In 2016, Tara T. Craig (University of Texas) and I adapted Vi Hart and Nicky Case’s “Parable of the Polygons” (2014) for a Math Teachers’ Circle activity to consider the dynamics of a polygon neighborhood. In the neighborhood, polygons preferred having neighbors who were like them. Triangles enjoyed having other Triangles as neighbors, and Squares enjoyed having other

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Family Fun: Achi!

This article was originally published in the Summer Math Mind Stretchers, Issue #1 by the AIMC (Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles).  Achi is a game played by the Ashanti people of Ghana in West Africa. This two-player game is played on a three-by-three diagram of horizontal and vertical lines and two diagonals. Achi is like tic-tac-toe, but with a twist. Each

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Activity

Wolves and Sheep

Wolves and Sheep Here’s your chance to be the hero of the story! Help keep the big bad wolf from eating the three little… sheep. Well, I guess it’s not the same story – and unfortunately, the sheep live in a field, not a house – but you get the idea. To start this activity, you’re going to need two different

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Adventures in Exploding Dots: A six-lesson series

I, James, recently led a Zoom lesson to introduce the topic of Exploding Dots to students, educators, and math enthusiasts across the nation, the first of six lessons to come on the topic. I began with the classic mind-reading trick of sharing on the screen the following five groups of numbers. I asked each participant to look within each group

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Articles

Article

A Visit from a Mathematician

With classrooms nationwide currently being held online, the American Institute of Mathematics has been offering schools the opportunity to receive a virtual visit from a mathematician, furthering educational enrichment and experience for their students. I’ve had the opportunity to visit ten different classrooms this fall, each time providing students with a math activity that feels unique and engaging. Share on

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Article

Global Math Week 2020

EXPLODING DOTS all live lessons all year long.Check out our events calendar! Facebook Twitter Dear Math Friends: This past month the Global Math Project conducted its fourth annual Global Math Week, October 10 – 17 (a generous week!). And joyous mathematics certainly did resound around the planet. Despite the uncertainty of these times, full of obstacle and challenge, teachers and students nonetheless

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Article

Morgan Hill Math

The MATHCOUNTS Coyote Valley Chapter Competition is about to begin. The 2019-2020 school year ended like no other for Morgan Hill Math, when we had to adapt to distance enrichment. Morgan Hill Math is an outreach program sponsored by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), which provides free math enrichment activities to about 300 students each year, who live in

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Article

A Teacher and a Mathematician

A Math Teachers’ Circle immersion workshop is an intensive experience focused on mathematics and creating community. Recommended as the first “big event” for a new Math Teachers’ Circle, an immersion workshop has enormous potential to affect teachers’ beliefs about themselves, their mathematics abilities, and the nature of mathematics—or their mathematics identity. The MTC immersion experience puts teachers in the sometimes

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Article

Taking AIM at COVID-19

This article was originally published in the AIMatters newsletter and written by Estelle Basor. Over forty graduate students and advanced undergraduates participated in an online summer program to study dynamics and data in the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was sponsored by AIM and the NSF.  Students had the opportunity to learn the basic mathematical epidemiology underlying the models used in studying

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Article

Virtual Math Festival Engages Students

On Saturday morning, May 9th, 65 students and 20 adult volunteers chose to start their day off with math! The Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s (SCCOE) first-ever Virtual Math Festival offered students in grades 5-8 the opportunity to participate in advanced and thought-provoking mathematics in an online, social and cooperative atmosphere. Students logged onto an online conversation hall, and

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Article

Global Joy: Uplifting Mathematics In Classroom across the Planet

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter During a special week in October of 2017 a global phenomenon in mathematics education and outreach occurred: thousands of math teachers, club organizers, and math outreach leaders from over 150 different countries and territories opened their classroom doors and engaged in a common, joyous piece of school-relevant mathematics with over 1.7 million

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Article

Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter The Alliance of Indigenous Math Circles is devoted to supporting mathematical culture within indigenous communities.  We form partnerships throughout the U.S. in order to build local opportunities for students, teachers, and families to enjoy mathematics and engage in problem solving together, while also celebrating their indigenous cultural identity.  Our key activities include

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Article

Math Monday — weekly math games for all kids to enjoy

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter I’ve always loved mathematical games and puzzles. In fact it was reading puzzle books that taught me how to think mathematically, and fall in love with the subject. Unfortunately, schools have little time for math fun, especially with the pressures of state standards and standardized testing. Just as we read to our

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Article

Virtual Math Festivals

On Saturday, May 9, 2020, over 70 fifth through eighth grade students from Santa Cruz County participated in AIM’s first ever “Virtual Math Festival.” Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Screenshot of the virtual festival hall with tables of attendees As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was hosted entirely online, taking place in a virtual

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Article

Teacher Circle Online Workshop

MTC Network Virtual Summer Workshop This July, the Math Teachers’ Circle Network and AIM hosted a virtual workshop to offer free professional development and online experience to K-12 teachers throughout the nation.  Teachers participating in the “Acting Out Mathematics” Session with Dr. Hortensia Soto. Over 250 teachers participated in the workshop, attending from all around the US as well as

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