Math = Love: 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Equilateral Triangle Puzzle from Puzzle Box, Volume 1

This school year has been CRAZY. Crazy busy. Crazy exhausting. Crazy good. Crazy, crazy, crazy. The other day, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I had to get done. But, at the same time, I just needed to take a bit of a break. My students leave at 3:05, but our contract time doesn't end until 3:30. So, one day with 25 minutes to fill, I decided to tackle one of the puzzles I had typed up this summer for my puzzle table.


This equilateral triangle puzzle comes from Puzzle Box, Volume 1 (affiliate link) from Dover Publications. This is the first book in a series of three puzzle books that are edited by the Peter and Serhiy Grabarchuk. This specific puzzle is by Richard Candy.


http://amzn.to/2kRduid          http://amzn.to/2kRLtqI          http://amzn.to/2BHqKhf

Each volume has 300 puzzles, and I have found over a hundred puzzles between the three volumes that I would like to adapt to use in my classroom some day. If you love puzzles or if you are looking for resources to teach your students to reason logically, Puzzle Box, Volumes 1-3 (affiliate link) are the books for you!

You can get a great taste of what types of puzzles they have to offer you and your students by looking at the free Amazon Preview! Just click the "Look Inside" button for each book. If you're logged into Amazon, you can click "Surprise Me!" on the left side of the page. This will let you see quite a few of the puzzles inside the book for free. I typed up my first Puzzle Box puzzle from the free preview. Then, I did some more looking around and knew I had to order it!


So, how does the puzzle work? 


You are given six quadrilaterals. These are printed on three different colors of paper. You must arrange the six pieces to form a plain equilateral triangle. Pieces of the same color are not allowed to touch each other, not even at a corner. Pieces can be rotated but not overlapped. 


As I started trying to solve this puzzle, I went through several thought processes.

How in the world is this going to make an equilateral triangle? 

Hmmm...let me try this. 

Nope. This is impossible. There is no way these pieces could make a triangle. 

Maybe I made a mistake when I created the pieces in Microsoft Publisher. 

Wait...what if I try this? 

Oooh...I'm so close. Maybe this is possible. 

What happens if I move this here and another piece there and... I got it! 

This was fun! 

Now, I can't wait to try this with my students! My students are currently working through a collection of puzzles on their "Puzzle Passports," so I will have to wait a bit to put this out. Or, maybe I should add magnets to the pieces and stick it up on the dry erase board to see what students do with it...

Now, I just have to add that to my never ending to do list!

Want to try this puzzle yourself? I have uploaded the files here.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday Must Reads: Volume 47

Full Disclosure: I started this post over a week ago with the hopes of posting it for LAST Monday's Must Reads. When I didn't finish it on Sunday or Monday, I started to think I would post it on Tuesday as a one-day-late version of Monday Must Reads. Now, here we are, an entire week later on another Monday. I think every year I forget just how crazy the beginning of the year is. Plus, this year is extra crazy with teaching at a new school and having new preps!

I hope that you can find some inspiration in these share-worthy tweets from the past few weeks.



Heather Moore shares a link to the US Math Kangaroo website where you can find all sorts of awesome math problems for your classroom!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MonkeyflowrMath/status/1033892476111581184
 From just a quick glance, I know I need to spend some quality time here looking for problems to use with my students! Here are a few of the 2018 sample questions that caught my eye.

Image Copyright Math Kangaroo Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vmMkZg6OsyQDIyf0_W1TYX3Qs6mnnU9If_8TLmiP2M0/edit
Image Copyright Math Kangaroo Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vmMkZg6OsyQDIyf0_W1TYX3Qs6mnnU9If_8TLmiP2M0/edit
Can't get enough of Monday Must Reads? Sam Shah is compiling his own posts with his favorite twitter posts and ideas. I love reading his commentary and being reminded of ideas that I've seen and since forgotten. Plus, I get a chance to see tweets from people I don't follow YET.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/samjshah2/status/1033423184798859266
Looking for classroom decoration ideas? Check out Jo Morgan's Maths Display Page.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mathsjem/status/1033699196635951104
I needed to see this quote shared by Courtney Cochran.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/2017ArkansasTOY/status/1011015698074742785
Jessica shares some awesome new posters on her blog!

Image Source: https://algebrainiac.wordpress.com/2018/08/16/posters-2018/
Ashli shares an image that could spark some interesting conversations.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Mythagon/status/1033552711424200704
David Butler shares an interesting strategy game to play with students called the Daisy Game.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/DavidKButlerUoA/status/1033485933977325568
Heather Paulson shares her awesome table numbers!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Heather37727075/status/1033142792778928133
I really like this problem from the UK Mathematics Trust.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/UKMathsTrust/status/1023183791559467008
I recently ran across the Maths wi nae Borders twitter account and found several lovely puzzles.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathsWNBorders/status/954633592646328320
Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathsWNBorders/status/954633601706004480
Image Source: https://twitter.com/MathsWNBorders/status/954633628037910528
This task from Teejay Maths also caught my eye!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Teejay_Maths/status/1018782463500398592
Gemma Hoy shares a beautiful bulletin board!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Gemhoy/status/611873787127144448
Kristen Rudd offers up a yummy WODB problem.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/kristenrudd/status/1033005936842035200
Jill Church shares an awesome beginning of year project that doubles as a beautiful classroom display!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/jillchurch74/status/1033128136840499200
Zach Berkowitz shares some cool puzzles that might make an appearance in my classroom later this year!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrB_DoesMath/status/1033125572367527937
Samuel Down shares a photo of his awesome math clock.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/SDown4/status/433266204657328128
I love Becky Roloff's idea of having a Pi Day Coloring Contest.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mrsroloff/status/974032069776101378
Check out this mailbox in Amber Longhi's classroom!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Amber_Longhi/status/1032957517788270593
I love how Jennifer Fairbanks displays students' desmos creations!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/HHSmath/status/1032653701134069760
Julie Chamberlain's organization of her Puzzle Crate is inspiring! Find this puzzle and more to download on my puzzles page!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/j_chamberlain_/status/1033060648954077185
Check out this great class culture building activity from Mandy Fernandes!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mandevillemom/status/1030147281993879553
I've seen the idea of human box plots floating around on twitter for awhile. But, I really like the look of this one from Melissa Pool.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/melissarpool/status/988533513413509120
I LOVE this puzzle bulletin board from Mrs Tang!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/tangmath/status/1032701598143864833
Paul Jorgens' use of Desmos is always inspiring. I love this process of having students draw a graph that represents a story about a sport and then having other students determine what story the graph is telling.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/pejorgens/status/1032419355865231361
I really like how Sam Rhodes combined WODB with Algebra Tiles!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/srrhod/status/1031602837778837504
Having taught science in the past, I love Lauren Stewart's idea of starting the year off with a black box activity.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/StewartSci/status/1032337191224135680
Another awesome idea from another awesome science teacher: Kate McNabb! Students first constructed outlines of their bodies on the wall. Then, they were given anatomical elements to locate and label.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/k8mcnabb/status/1032384614466183168
I love how Ms. Sylvester used math to cover this window in her classroom. So beautiful!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MsSylvesterMath/status/1032070552922607621
Jamie Back's recent blog post about 3D printing flowers from polar graphs has me wishing my school had a 3D printer!

Image Source: https://makinginmath.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/making-3d-printed-flowers-from-polar-graphs/
Maya Maroun brings the classic locker problem to an entirely new level by using two color counters as manipulatives. Brilliant!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/missmaroun/status/1031712229194756097
Mr. Derstein inspires with a pirate themed classroom for what was surely a memorable learning experience!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/MrDerstein/status/1032000496737943552
Negatives and exponents. I can hear you groaning just thinking about teaching this tricky topic AGAIN. Check out this notice and wonder activity from Stephanie Ling to get students thinking like mathematicians instead of just memorizing rules.

Image Source: https://twitter.com/ling_stephanie/status/1032029862628737025
Check out this mirror and message from Cathy Yenca!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/mathycathy/status/1031748994433798144
I couldn't pass up sharing this funny #thingsteenagerssay moment from Mauren Ferger!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/Ferger314/status/1031685552712638466
Julia Robbins inspires with a bit of painter's tape and some magnetic numbers that create an awesome 1 to 9 puzzle for students to solve!

Image Source: https://twitter.com/julialufcy/status/1031661708933308416
 Until next week, keep up the awesome sharing!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Eight Lettered Squares Puzzle

I ran across a new-to-me puzzle last night, and I had to stop everything and try it out. Then, I had to make my husband stop everything and try it out with me. Math puzzles on a Saturday evening. Yes, we are THAT family!

The puzzle comes from The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Puzzles by The Diagram Group (affiliate link). The book has been around since 1996, so there are several super-cheap copies on Amazon.

https://amzn.to/2PK1wFI

The puzzle that caught my eye was the 82nd (of 318) puzzles in the book. The premise is simple. Take a rectangular piece of paper including eight letters. Fold the paper so that the letters end up in alphabetical order, one on top of the other.  No cutting allowed!

Source: The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Puzzles by The Diagram Group
I immediately opened up Publisher and got to typing up the puzzle. This is what I came up with:

The husband and I cut out our rectangles and started folding.

Here was my thought process:

Hmmm...this is fun.

Nope. This is impossible. 

Wait. This is just like Manifold (affiliate link)! FYI - as I write this Amazon is having a SUPER DEAL on Manifold. Only $2.92! (Be careful before clicking purchase to make sure this deal is still a deal!)

If I can do Manifold, I can do this.

Wait...what?

I can't do this.

I think I can do this.

YES!

Meanwhile, the husband is still folding and folding and folding and folding. For once, I figured out a puzzle BEFORE Shaun. This is rare. He usually solves puzzles at least twice as fast as me. I think my years of fiddling with origami may have put me at a slight advantage when it came to solving this puzzle.

One thing I realized while solving the puzzle was that I needed to find a better solution for using it with students. The way I typed up the puzzle uses one page/student.

So, I decided to type up a version with multiple puzzles to one page to make it a bit more friendly on your copy budget!
My last period Pre-AP Algebra 2 class has become a bit obsessed with puzzles over the last few days. On Friday, I had a few students ask to stay AFTER SCHOOL (ON A FRIDAY) to work on the Color Square Puzzle


I'm excited to let them tackle this new puzzle! 

Want to try this puzzle yourself or with your students? I've uploaded the full page version and the three to a page version here