Math = Love: March 2018

## Saturday, March 31, 2018

### Sum to Twenty Puzzle

In Math Concepts, we ran out of That's Logical puzzles a few weeks ago, so I had to find a new source of daily warm-ups. Instead, I've started using puzzles from "THINK ABOUT IT! Mathematics Problems of the Day" by Marcy Cook. This book was published by Creative Publications in 1982, and for once I would not recommend ordering a copy off of Amazon.

If you already happen to have a copy, cherish it and don't let anyone borrow it!

Wednesday, I put this puzzle up on the board. And, I challenged my students to solve it on their individual white boards.

This. Did. Not. Go. Well.

Students were confused by the fact that there were already two fours in the puzzle. Students were confused whether they had to use each number between 0 and 9 only once or if they could use some more than once and others not at all. I ended up encouraging my students to write the numbers 0-9 on their dry erase board so that they could mark off each number as they used it.

This still did not go well. Students were bringing me their whiteboards to check their answers, and it was clear that they had misunderstood the instructions. Many had made each row sum to twenty without worrying about the columns. These students do tend to struggle more than most. This is part of the reason they are in Math Concepts, a class created for our 9th graders who are not yet ready for Algebra 1.

After telling student after student that their answer was incorrect, I eventually decided we needed to stop this activity and regroup. I told them to put their dry erase boards away with the promise that we would tackle this puzzle again the next day.

A few minutes on the computer and some quality time with my laminator led to a version of this puzzle with moveable pieces.

The next day, my students seemed reluctant to try the puzzle again until they realized that it was in a slightly different form. With the moveable pieces, they jumped into the puzzle with a bit of excitement.

Within only a few minutes, my students started announcing that they had solved the puzzle. It was adorable to watch them attempt to cover their solution from the prying eyes of their classmates. I've had issues with this class sharing puzzle answers, so it was especially good to see this.

This was no longer an impossible puzzle but a puzzle with a solution worth working towards.

There's another variation of this puzzle that sums to 21 in the book that I look forward to trying with my students after this whole strike business is over.

Want to try this puzzle with your own students? I've uploaded the file here.

This puzzle would be a great addition to a puzzle table, as well!

## Thursday, March 29, 2018

### Double Letters and Cover the Shape Puzzles

This whole potential strike business and the frustration of not knowing if I will be teaching next week or marching around the capitol building has left me extremely exhausted. As a result, my motivation to get blog posts written has almost disappeared. This is especially sad because I've been trying out several new activities this week that deserve to be blogged about!

Let's start with some puzzle table adventures of late. This week, I chose another cover the shape type puzzle this week because those always seem to be popular with my students. Last week (the week before Spring Break), I put out a double letters puzzle, and my students haven't seemed to want to even try that type of puzzle. I think that their lack of success with the last double letters puzzle (which many of them did try) led to their lack of any interest in this subsequent puzzle.

I've uploaded the file for this NEW double letters puzzle here.

I'm wondering if I put these puzzles on the board with magnets like Lisa Richardson (be sure to check out her blog here!) if my students might feel more inclined to try the double letter puzzles.

 Image Source: http://mrsrichmath.blogspot.com/2018/03/puzzle-pizzazz-1.html?m=0
If you've been following along with my puzzle table adventures, you'll be happy to know that this week's puzzle uses the same pieces as Cover the Duck, Cover the Camel, and Cover the Heart.

I couldn't figure out a clever name for this week's puzzle, so it's got the so-exciting name of "Cover the Shape." I'm open to changing the title if you've got any great ideas!

The goal of the puzzle is to use the five puzzle pieces to perfectly cover the puzzle board. I had several students solve this puzzle in a few minutes on their first try. But, there were also plenty of incorrect solutions left behind by students who didn't finish as well. You can download the file for this puzzle here.

These puzzles are from (affiliate links) Puzzle Box Volume 2 (Double Letters Puzzle) and Puzzle Box Volume 3 (Cover the Shape). I cannot recommend this series of puzzle books enough for classroom teachers. Every time I flip through one of these books, I end up bookmarking ten more things I want to create for my students!

## Monday, March 26, 2018

### Monday Must Reads: Volume 35

Well, Spring Break has come and gone. Instead of spending my days hiking in the mountains and dipping my feet into a rather freezing lake, it's time to embrace factoring polynomials. To help get back in the teaching mindset, I'm once again compiling some of the awesomeness I've seen recently on twitter and in my RSS reader. Be warned: this is an epic volume of Monday Must Reads due to the fact that I took a week off due to Spring Break.

Lee C. Dawson shares an awesome image to use for a number talk/dot talk.

Mrs. Piacente-Cimini shares a photo of an awesome hallway mural at her school.

Mr Winstanley inspires with an awesome trig-inspired sun dial lesson.

I absolutely love these classroom decoration pics shared by Jodie Green!

Miss Green has inspired me to add "Research Columbus Cubes" to my never-ending to do list.

Laura Goetz combines calculus with Play-Doh in an awesome lesson.

Laura continues her use of non-traditional materials with this calculus lesson involving stickers and dental floss.

Linda Antinone poses an interesting question involving a koala and balloons.

Jean Annette Jones shares a photo that would be perfect for any lesson on converting units.

Jennifer Hooker inspires with an algebra-themed Graffiti Party.

Shana Coker takes a different twist on graffiti in the classroom - geometry style this time.

Also from Shana Coker: an awesome growth mindset bulletin board!

Becky Pickett shares a brilliant way to form lines of best fit using string and stickers!

Jennifer High shares a great way to introduce angles of elevation and depression.

And, now I need to add striped straws to my shopping list thanks to this awesome graphing linear inequalities lesson from Jennifer High.

Jennifer also shares an awesome geometry lesson involving shrinky dinks.

Jennifer High shares a new-to-me use for pattern blocks involving exponent rules.

Katie England shares an intriguing exponent task.

Kevin Spry shares a math-y gift that I know most of my readers would love to have!

Fawn Nguyen shares an awesome visual for sparking a great discussion.

Looking to engage students? Check out this straw and tape activity from Erin Dwyer.

Suzanne von Oy shares an intriguing book recommendation, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (affiliate link).

Stephanie Nichols combines polynomials with an egg-citing egg hunt.

How adorable are these inequality valentines from Daria Resnick?!?

Mr Stackhouse shares an awesome alphabet based math project that I am definitely stealing either for next year or for the end of this this year!

Mr Stackhouse also shares an awesome surface area project.

Sabrina Grasso shares a brilliant use for a hula hoop while celebrating Pi Day.

I've seen skylines made of pi before, but Sarah Gyimoty takes it a step further with the first 180 digits of pi!

Sarah Gyimoty also shares a fun activity where students describe parabolas for the other student to draw. I always tend to forget about this powerful activity structure.

Mr. Topp has an awesome quote on his wall that I believe deserves sharing. "If you don't like where you are, change it. You're not a tree."

Carrie Persing shares an awesome order of operations task where students must figure out where to place parentheses to make true statements.

Henrico County Math shares some great bulletin boards to improve mathematical communication.

I also really like this sorting task from Henrico County Math. I feel like this could be easily adapted to other math topics.

Simon Cox shares a photo of an inspiring math classroom in Azerbaijan.

Shaun Kennedy inspires with an escape room that he and a few other teachers built in his school.

Toni Madison took her lesson to the next level with Project Runway Geometry Edition. I love these quadrilateral inspired looks!

McSteiger Science shares several awesome projects for the STEM classroom.

Mr G James shares a link to an awesome website that creates Mathonyms.

Check out my Mathonymn.

 Image Source: https://mathonyms.xyz/Sarah%20Carter
Thanks to Christee Joesten, I now have plans to celebrate World Compliment Day next year.

Christee Joesten also shares a creative lesson for finding the foci of an ellipse.

Ms. Ferraro shares some awesome posters that every graphing calculator using math teacher needs!

I also love this idea from Ms. Ferraro to having students justify their preferred way of multiplying polynomials.

Lisa Edinger shares an inspiring photo of her sister's math classroom which she turned into the set of Cake Boss to introduce their new unit.

Allison Hartwig shares a great engineering challenge using index cards.

Mrs. Lambert inspires with the use of washi tape to create pythagorean theorem problems.

Mrs. Lambert also shares a great systems of equations task involving skittles and starbursts.

Leslie Byrd has me wondering, "How do I get myself a coordinate plane rug?"

Colin Pettegrew shares a new-to-me visual for the real number system involving cups and ping pong balls.

Jennifer shares a fun, brain-break style activity that only requires some determination and a piece of paper.

Jeff Hottel shares a fun activity for the first week of school.

Jeff also shares a creative challenge involving Jenga blocks.

Mrs. G's radian aerobics activities makes me miss teaching trig!

Mrs. G inspires with a brown-bag trig challenge involving trig identities.

Mrs. G also shared an awesome linear investigation activity involving marshmallows.

MrsPop shares an activity called "Wall of Lies."

MrsPop also inspires with end behavior dancing.

MrsPop continues her awesome twitter sharing with some parabolic curves.

I love MrsPop's idea of challenging students to come up with a set of systems with a specific solution generated by playing cards.

Check out this awesome work on birthday polynomials from MrsPop's students.

Greta Bergman shares a WODB for exponent rules.

Mariah Bailey shares a fun review game involving a suction ball.

Kay Kubena shares a great stats activity involving da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

Lana Steiner shares an awesome yet unconventional manipulative for working with circles.

Stacey Travis shares a great hands-on lesson that only requires a tire.

I am amazed at Lisa Rode's creativity in creating these Pi Day trophies.

Henk Reuling shares an awesome interactive task he created. Isn't this just a gorgeous activity?!? Check it out here. Be prepared to change the language, though!

I love this bulletin board from Taylor McGaughey!

Needing some ideas to encourage your students to complete their assignments? Check out this competition from Kjersti Fried.

I really like how Matthew Oldridge has posed this question to be multiple choice.

Simon Gregg points out that playing card suits are a natural WODB. How cool!