Math = Love: Brain Teaser: Petals Around the Rose

Monday, June 1, 2015

Brain Teaser: Petals Around the Rose

Every once in a while, I run across a blog in the #MTBoS, and I immediately think that I would get along really well with someone in real life.  I add their blog to feedly, and I find myself reading through every single post they have ever written.  

A few weeks ago, I discovered Annie Forest's blog and did just this.  One blog post of hers that I particularly liked was 8 Ideas for the Last Minutes of Math Class.  Usually, I read a post like this and find suggestions that I'm already using in my classroom.  But, Annie had several fun, fresh ideas that were completely new to me, and I can't wait to try some of them out next year!  

Here's the idea I'm most excited about:

Intrigued, I googled to find an online version to play.  I clicked a button to roll the five dice.  I guessed the score.  I guessed correctly.  Yay.  :D  I rolled the dice again.  I used the same strategy to guess the score again.  Nope.  Wrong.  Heartbroken.  In my frustration, I allowed myself to get sidetracked.    

Later, I mentioned the game to my boyfriend.  He played a couple of games and seemed as confused as I was.  But, within an hour or so, he sent me a message saying he had figured it out.  

Now, I HAD to figure it out.  I'm more than kind of competitive.  

It was the last day of school.  And, it was only  half a day at that.  So, that meant quite a few students just didn't show up at all.  I convinced a couple of students that they should play this fun dice game with me.  After a few turns, I finally figured it out.  My students didn't seem quite as excited as I did, but oh well...  They quickly gave up and turned their attention to their cellular devices.  It was the last day of school, after all.  

I really like this online version because it allows you to insert a guess before showing you the score.  It even keeps track of how many of your guesses were correct.  

The above site also includes information about the Fraternity of Petals Around the Rose.  I think it would be fun to make membership cards to give to my students after they figured out the puzzle.  

There is also an NCTM Illuminations lesson for this game that is geared towards Grades 3-5.  I think it will still be a fun challenge for my high school students, though.  I mean, it was a fun challenge for me as a math teacher!  

Oh, and the name of the game really is important!  :D       



14 comments:

  1. Kind of surprised myself, I got it first try, and got all of the sample online ones right...maybe too tired to really think about anything, mushy Mom brain is a good thing!

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  2. Hi Sarah, I did interactive notebooks for the first time this year and I am going to be sharing my experience on my blog! I will be linking to you for a majority of my posts since I borrowed so so much from you. Thanks so much for always sharing your foldables and ideas. There are so many people that really appreciate it. Thanks for being awesome.

    http://missmikkelsenblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Can't wait to see what you post. Just added your blog to my feedly!

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  3. I learned this 21 years ago as: Polar bears, they come in pairs. They sit around the holes of the ice like petals on a flower. How many polar bears do you see? Added bonus: how many fish are under the holes? Then they learn certain rule about dice. And finally, how many plankton are there?

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    1. I saw something about polar bears on the NCTM site. This must have been what they were referring to!

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  4. Thanks! I'm determined to create a file of "Stuff to do when there are 5-10 minutes left in class." This is going in it. Along with Missionaries and Cannibals. ~Lisa

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    1. I've never heard of Missionaries and Cannibals. Care to share?

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  5. Yay, so glad you found my blog! Now the pressure is on to get a few more posts published... I've been slacking a bit lately.

    I agree, seems we should be friends in "real life!" :)

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    1. :D I definitely know how it is with blogging. I barely blogged at all for quite a few months of this school year. I find that I'm so much better at blogging in the summer, though! Can't wait to see what you post!

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  6. Just found your story on NPR and your blog. Figured this out after one try. So either I have seen it before or was just open enough to get the answer...we do tend to complicate things. I love you notebooks. But in our house we have two dysgraphic kids whose notebooks always end up looking awful no matter how much they want them to look good. Added to that they are dyslexic and when teachers create their own textbooks there is no oversight in reading levels or presentation. Not that textbooks are any better. How to you work with kids with learning disabilities? Do you find your approach to help more because of all the different learnin styles you seem to embrace?

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Our special ed teacher has found the notebooks really useful when students go to visit her in the resource room. She does keep textbooks on hand for students to reference if they don't have the notes. I do have a few students whose notebooks are barely legible. Usually they end up borrowing someone else's notebook... Not sure how to fix this.

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  7. I thought this was gonna be the death of me but I did finally figure it out. On a larger note....I love your blog! I am a middle school math TA at a school for kids with learning disabilities. We are using notebooks and your foldables are coming in really handy. Thanks for sharing your world with us!

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    1. Glad you persevered! And, thanks for reading my blog!

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