Online Math Teachers' Circle

Thursdays at 4:30pm PDT to 6:00pm PDT

Audience: Educators, Teachers, & Mathematicians

Description: Every week we’ll have a new presenter showcasing a fun and interesting problem for teachers to explore. Sessions are typically 90 minutes long with a mix of webinar style presentation and small group discussion.

Previous Sessions

Desmos Online Activites
June 17, 2020

Facilitated by Chris Bolognese
Columbus MTC and Columbus Academy

In this session Chris shows how Desmos Online Activity Builder can be used for interactive online teaching.

Math, Art, & "Disciplined Creativity"
June 16, 2020

Facilitated by Fred Peck and Matt Roscoe
University of Montana and the Montana Math Teachers’ Circle

The mathematician Paul Lockhart describes mathematics as a playground for the imagination, where “things are as we want them to be.” But also, mathematics is a discipline with rules and standards. Taken together, we can say that mathematics is disciplined creativity where we “ask simple and elegant questions about imaginary creations, and craft satisfying and beautiful explanations.”

In this session we’ll engage in some disciplined creativity. We’ll create mathematical art using an activity from @anniek_p’s #mathartchallenge series. We’ll ask simple & elegant questions about our creations, and attempt to craft satisfying & beautiful explanations.

Participants: If possible, please have graph paper or dot paper available.

Math and art with the Montana MTC (photos by Fred Peck).

The Game of Life
June 9, 2020

Facilitated by Scott Kim
Math Monday and Game Thinking

Join us as we explore John Conway’s Game of Life, one of the most mind-expanding mathematical playgrounds ever invented. It is based on cellular automata — an area of mathematics that gave rise to computers and the computerized world we now live in. Think Minecraft meets Rube Goldberg machines. You’ll learn how to play Life using physical manipulatives, then go deeper with computer versions of Life. Along the way you’ll ponder deep questions about physics, biology, computability, and how complex behavior can arise from simple rules.

View Scott Kim’s slides from the session

Blue Dot Solitaire
May 26th, 2020

We’ll play “Blue Dot Solitaire,” a game involving a row of blue and yellow dots. Our goal is to remove all the dots by following two simple rules. How do we win? Are there cases when we can’t win the game? Join us in our exploration, which uses Desmos and a web application of the game. This session is the collaborative work of Chris Bolognese (Columbus MTC), Nathan Borchelt & Sloan Despeaux (Smoky Mountain MTC & NC Network of MTCs), Anne Ho (TN Eastern & Appalachian MTC), and Lizi Metts (MTC of Middle TN).

How to fold into thirds
May 19th, 2020

It is pretty easy to accurately fold a tie or a strip of paper or length of chord in half, or quarters, or even eighths. But how do you fold a strip into accurate thirds? Or how about sevenths? (Does this issue actually come up in everyday life?) Let’s play with some fun folding math and figure out how to become masters in folding lengths into most any fraction you like! Wild math to behold! 

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