Math = Love

Friday, January 18, 2019

Matador Dominoes Puzzle

Yesterday, I posted a sneak peek photo on twitter of the latest puzzle I've been working on for my classroom. It was very interesting to read people's theories about what the puzzle might entail.


This is the Matador Dominoes Puzzle. I ran across this puzzle while searching the Internet for the instructions to a brain teaser puzzle since I seem to have misplaced them in my multitude of recent classroom moves. It is featured on Rob's Puzzle Page of Pattern Puzzles. This page is seriously full of so many awesome puzzles.

Image Source: http://www.robspuzzlepage.com/pattern.htm
This puzzle really caught my eye because it would be relatively easy to recreate for my classroom, unlike most illustration based edge matching puzzles. 

Image Source: http://www.robspuzzlepage.com/pattern.htm
I haven't had a puzzle up on my dry erase board since we came back from Christmas Break, so I decided to make my own large, magnetic version of this puzzle for my students to tackle. I recreated each square of the puzzle as a 7.5" square in Microsoft Word using domino clipart from ClipArt ETC. I used the small version of each clipart image which resulted in the domino spots being the slightest bit pixelated in my file. In retrospect, I should have used the higher res clipart images. It hasn't bothered me enough to recreate the entire file, though.


The aim of the puzzle is to put the six pieces together in such a way that you get the seven double dominoes from double-blank to double-six.


After laminating each piece and attaching a magnet to the back, I put them on my dry erase board and waited impatiently for a student to notice. 2nd hour came and went. No one noticed. 3rd hour came and went. 4th hour came and went. Still, not a single student had noticed the puzzle on the board.


5th hour rolled around, and as students began entering the classroom. I soon heard a student exclaim, "There's a new puzzle on the wall. I'm going to try it!" Multiple students were quickly gathered at the board. They read the instructions aloud and jumped in. 
 

In under a minute or two, the students exclaimed that the puzzle had been solved. I glanced up at their work and was about to congratulate them when I realized that their solution was actually NOT the solution. They had matched up each of the edges, but they had not formed all seven of the double dominoes. Their solution had formed the double four domino twice and had neglected to form the double one domino. Frustrated, they went back to work. 


The puzzle remains unsolved. It looked like this when I left for the day. 


I realize that not everyone will have ample space in their classroom for this jumbo version of the puzzle. So, I also resized the cards to make a smaller set that prints 1 set per letter sized page and fits in a snack sized sandwich bag.

This would be the perfect size if you wanted to work the puzzle yourself or have each student work the puzzle individually at their own desks. 


 Download your own copy of the file for this puzzle here.


Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Must Reads: Volume 51

Somehow, it is once again Monday. So, let's celebrate this new week with some lovely twitter awesomeness from my fellow teachers around the world.



Nicola Amies inspires with this beautiful, student-made circle theorems bulletin board.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/AmiesNicola/status/778251835006152706
Calculus Teachers! Check out this exclamation point based area question from Simon Ball!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ballyzero/status/1059502924756328451
If calculus isn't your thing, this puzzle from Simon Ball is also lovely. I believe this is equivalent to the tent puzzles I blogged about several years ago.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ballyzero/status/1060942519326908416
I really like this exponent and radicals task from Elysian Maths.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ElysianMaths/status/1076481738795302912
Mrs. Allan shares a Christmas gift idea that could also work well as an end-of-year gift for students in your math club.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsAllanOnline/status/1073672011996487680
Rachael Gorsuch shares a yummy proportionality lesson.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/rachaelhgorsuch/status/1083812985796214785
Neil Casey shares what is perhaps one of the most creative ideas I have ever seen for looking at slope and linear patterns.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrCasey27/status/1074763962460323845
Cassandra Valenti shares a helpful hint for engaging students with word problems.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathWithMrsV/status/1083729532354547713
Chris Bolognese shares a great WODB problem to kick off your unit on sequences and series.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/EulersNephew/status/1082089960839307266
Lana Steiner shares a fun challenge: create your own geoboard!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/LanaSteiner4/status/1082695856858517504
I absolutely adore this bulletin board from Nicole Snijders (shared by Nichole Criminger).

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ncriminger_csms/status/1075828871977668608
It isn't too late to still make changes in your classroom. Check out this more/less idea from Carol Anderson!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/caroleanne_87/status/955566693283258373
Carol also shares a great use for transparencies as a manipulative. Definitely click through to watch the video!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/caroleanne_87/status/1072509768688984065
Also, how engaging is this lesson on surface area and volume using gingerbread houses?!?

Image Source: https://twitter.com/caroleanne_87/status/1076147365529174017
Kathryn D Koon shares another great idea that uses transparencies to teach compound inequalities through groupwork.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kdkoon1/status/1042168754808020993
Also from Kathryn D Koon - an engaging game of "I Spy." I've never seen this modified for math class before. How cool!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kdkoon1/status/1047647459902672897
Teaching vectors? Check out this lesson from Amy Dusto involving popsicle sticks!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/AmyDusto/status/1082305443869933572
Science Teachers - check out how Shawna teaches circuit diagrams using graham crackers and candy!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/shawnawirz/status/1075880992659959810
If you teach geometry, check out this WODB from Kaitlin.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Kaitruggiero/status/1082281111248662528
Until next time, keep sharing your awesome ideas!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Monday Must Reads: Volume 50

It's the first Monday of the new semester. Over Christmas Break, I had the privilege of having an awesome lunch with some amazing local math teacher tweeps. Shelli mentioned that she missed my regular Monday Must Reads posts. So, I'm hoping to do a better job this semester of keeping up with sharing your twitter awesomeness here on this blog. Hopefully this will also help me stay more engaged on Twitter this semester. 

One more thing. How have I already compiled 50 Monday Must Reads posts?!?



Erin Woulfe shares a great teacher hack for using two chromebooks for data generation/data collection. 

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mschemwoulfee/status/1082337811636932609
Stacie Bender shares an activity for the triangle inequality theorem. I've never seen this chart for giving students a template for cutting out their own pieces before!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/stacieb3/status/946182533741412352
Mrs. Hale shares a great image to motivate systems of equations.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrsHale11/status/1062847200382869505
Anu Henderson uses holiday-themed math shirts to have awesome conversations about exponents and mathematical precision. I love it!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/AHendersonNISD/status/1075909143758864384
WWT AP Calculus makes me want to teach AP Calc. Who wouldn't want some slope field cupcakes?!?

Image Source: https://twitter.com/WWTAPCalculus/status/739801303426203648
Sara VanDerWerf shares a brilliant homework assignment that she used to give students over Winter Break.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/saravdwerf/status/1075874154065391617
Calcy McCalculus + C shares a great word search find involving mathematicians. I love that there is no list of names given for an extra challenge.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/813785746754699268
Here are some other gems from the same twitter account. Maybe I really do need to teach AP Calc... Here's a fact I did not know.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/827333804322873345
A great way to bring out some artistic creativity in your students.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/856578805300940805
I love this cross section artwork!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/955495727030992896
I really appreciate the focus here on what would be the same and what would be different about working out each integral.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/994742147596324864
AP Teachers - check out this awesome way to decorate your room and celebrate the awesomeness of previous AP students.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/1046832111792087040
Some wintery slope field fun.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/GrovesBCcalc/status/1080619307334332417
Cori Colby shares the brilliant idea of labeling all of your previous year's INBs for easy access and reference! This definitely needs to go on my to do list!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mrschz/status/1081394602446336000
A lovely new year challenge from Math with P Nik.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrNiksMathClass/status/1081167169587695617
Kristina Tomei shares a lovely chemistry coloring activity. I really do miss teaching chemistry sometimes!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/KristinaTomei/status/1081189931429564417
I love this idea from Victoria Saldiveri to give students mini cheat-sheets over topics. What if these were then kept on a ring or a special section of their notebooks?

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Mrs_Saldiveri/status/1081248977176141824
I am so stealing this idea from Cassandra Valenti when we get to trig identities later in pre-calculus!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathWithMrsV/status/1081198398601084928
Mark Kaercher shares an awesome new puzzle book that looks like it would be very interesting!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/shskaercher/status/1080937039565066245

Image Source: https://twitter.com/shskaercher/status/1081004298673287168
I'm super impressed with how Kristen Fouss modified this WODB activity to spark critical thinking and conversation!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Fouss/status/1081237277077135360
Ms. Kulcsar shares some awesome student creations of writing acrostic poems with literal equations. LOVE this idea!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/s_kulcsar/status/649372975041482752
Here's a lovely real-world math problem for Christmas decorating from Ms. Kulcsar.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/s_kulcsar/status/809128105063383045
I want to earn a spot in Cristina Fox's Cube Club!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/CFoxMHSS/status/999709457897672704
This create-a-function activity from Andrew Wille is brilliant.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/afwille/status/961704156275920896
Ms. Matuch shares a great idea for getting students writing and thinking critically in math class using post-it notes.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MMatuchMSN/status/943928894603907072
Michael Rubin shares a kitchen utensil themed WODB.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MikeRubin84/status/1080677520599470081
Mrs. Mazza shares a different great way of celebrating AP success.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MazzaSRHS/status/1037353181905387521
Mrs. Sinkhorn combines the traditional scale art project with math comics for a very cool result!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/FAS7thmath/status/1064986203865391104
This Trig Tac Toe activity from A Torrance has me so intrigued. I want to know more!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathIntegrATOR/status/1024753543427891201
Check out this awesome Levi's Jeans based problem from Frank Noschese!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/fnoschese/status/1080576223707836417
Natalie McCrady combines Desmos with gingerbread houses, and the results look yummy!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MommaMcCrady/status/1075905563534471170
Ashley McBride knows what she's doing with this very awesome "Cell Hotel."

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MsMcBrideMath/status/974442187785203712
Got any dominoes laying around? Check out this lesson from Tricia Krumbach!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/KrumbachTricia/status/1075584391798235136
Allison Kipping inspires with her student's door decorating entry. I love the thought and time that went into making this as science-y as possible!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/KippingChemEd/status/1075404410983976960
Amanda Garza brings logarithms alive with a hands-on science connection.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/garzalovesmath/status/1070388226546982913
I especially like Amanda's use of post-its for practicing identifying the sides of triangles for trig.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/garzalovesmath/status/1072167219465998341
Tori Cox shares a great Desmos hack for those who make their own activity builders. Love how this encourages play and creativity!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ToriTeachesMath/status/1075128153675317249
Northfield Maths shares a easy-to-implement display for your classroom.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathsNorthfield/status/1070308204398153728
This volume olympiad from Paul Jorgens looks super-engaging.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/pejorgens/status/1074855236148187136
Sara Mann has me convinced I need to up my auction game!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MannPreAlgebra/status/1074701659501195264
I am in awe of these 12 Days of Math Class doors shared by Caitlyn Gironda.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Caitlyn_Gironda/status/1073699683497844736
Until next time, keep sharing your awesome ideas!