Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Math Teachers at Play #59

Math Teachers at Play is a monthly Blog Carnival showcasing math activities and puzzles from teachers, parents, and homeschoolers all around the blogosphere.  It is organized by Denise Gaskins at Let's Play Math, and I'm very excited to be hosting the 59th carnival on Learners in Bloom.

The number 59 is a prime number, and has a twin prime 61 (a consecutive prime number that differs by 2).  It's also the sum of three prime numbers: 17 + 19 + 23 = 59.  If you divide 59 by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 you get remainders of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. 

The regular icosahedron has 59 stellations.

Here's a little puzzle for you: 59 is the smallest prime that can be expressed using the digits 1 through 9 in order with only the addition and multiplication symbols between them.  Can you find a way to express it with these rules?  (one solution is at the end of this post).

And now on to the great ideas that were submitted this month...

Mathematics Teaching Tips

Whit Ford from Learning and Teaching Math explores the Unintended Consequences of a 0-100 Grading Scale.

After what should have been a great math activity failed to engage and inspire his class, John Golden of Math Hombre asked how teachers can better create and support Intellectual Need in their students.  An interesting discussion of this topic can be found in the comment thread.

Mathematics Teaching Resources

In Learning Math with Computer Programming, Julie of Highhill Homeschool discusses a software tool called Scratch that can teach computer programming basics to young kids.

On Have You Seen These 10 Fab Science and Math You Tube Channels? Caroline Mukisa from Maths Insider helps you wade through the YouTube jungle to find interesting and professional science and math videos for your kids to watch.

Sue VanHattum from Math Mama Writes has created Math Relax, a wonderful resource with music and guided visualizations to help her students combat test anxiety.

Random Walk's John Chase has found three Math Fonts in Microsoft Office that will work with the new Equation Editor.

Colleen Young from Mathematics, Learning and Web 2.0 is reminding teachers and homeschoolers to mark their calendars for World Maths Day on March 6th and the 2013 World Education Games (March 5-7), where students from all over the world play math games against each other online.  Sounds like fun!

Mathematics Games and Activities

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Nicole from Creating Curiosity shared a Valentine Heart Math activity to teach math facts.  Her post on Monster Math is another math fun game for little ones.  Both of these activities can be adapted to work for a variety of age groups, anywhere from toddler to early-elementary.

Lucinda from Navigating By Joy shared her Popsicle Stick Fractions activity which is a neat hands-on way to help kids understand fractions.

Moebius Noodles' Yelena is challenging her readers to notice the math all around them with theMath Goggles challenge.  The 3rd challenge in the series is a rhyming pictures game in Math Goggles - Ch-ch-chain of Attributes.

Maria Miller from Homeschool Math Blog is sharing Star Polygon Worksheets that look like a lot of fun for the kids to try out. 

Rodi Steinig from Talking Stick Learning Center documents how she introduced the concept of logic to children ages 7-8 in Math Circle: Logic Session #1: Lounging Around

Terrance Banks from So I Teach Math and Coach shares a Waterfall Trivia game that can be used for unit reviews

Christy from Another Step to Take shows how her oldest son has been exploring Angles of Polygons using a geometrigraph and polygraph set.

Mathematical Puzzles and Concepts

How do you demonstrate to kids that the area of a circle quadruples when its radius doubles without using the formula for the area of a circle?  Alexander Bogomolny from CTK Insights has a visual approach to this problem in his post on what happens to the area when the radius of circle is doubled?

Guillermo P. Bautista Jr. from Mathematical Palette shares a clever trick for Multiplying Fast Using Your Fingers.  He also discusses Finding the Sum of the Arithmetic Sequence on his Mathematics and Multimedia Blog.

In Mechanical Drawings with Harmony, a Brief History, Pat Ballew of Pat's Blog provides an overview of the history of drawing mathematical parametric curves using mechanical methods.

K-12 Math Problems demonstrates how to transform a pentagon into a triangle of the same area.  This is the third installment of a series on how to transform polygons into other polygons while preserving their area.


I hope you enjoyed the Math Teachers at Play Blog Carnival #59!  Use the Math Teachers at Play Submission Form to submit your math-related blog posts for next month's carnival.

(One solution to the problem presented at the top of this post is: 1*2*3*4+5+6+7+8+9 = 59.  Can you find any more solutions using the same rules?)

Please 'like' Learners in Bloom on Facebook for more fun!


  1. Looks great! I can't wait to read all the posts.
    [But I think you meant "59", not "49", in your introductory puzzle...]

    Thank you so much for hosting the carnival :)

  2. Thank you so much for hosting the carnival, Lilac! I'm looking forward to picking up some inspiration as I check out the other posts over the weekend. Lucinda

  3. Hi Lilac, thank you so much for the carnival and for featuring Moebius Noodles. I'm looking forward to reading all the great articles mentioned in this carnival!


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