The weekly puzzle session that I run at the University of Adelaide is called One Hundred Factorial. In the middle of the night, I suddenly realised that I have never written about why it is called One Hundred Factorial, and so here is the story.
The very beginning
Once upon a time I was a PhD student in […]
I firmly believe that all students deserve to play with mathematical ideas, and that extension is not just for the fast or “gifted” students. I also believe that you don’t necessarily need specially designed extension activities to do exploration — a simple “what if” question can easily launch a standard textbook exercise into an exploration.
Fairy bread, in case you don’t know, is an Australian children’s party food.
Here’s how to make fairy bread: take white bread, spread it with margarine, and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Now cut into triangles and serve.
It has to be white bread. If you try to make fairy bread with wholemeal bread, or multigrain bread, […]
This post is about a game I invented called Home in One Piece. I invented it in 2014 specifically to play outside at student barbecues, after years of trying to think of an effective game using play dough. I’ve taken the physical version with me to various places to play it, including to Twitter Math […]
Two books I’ve read recently have encouraged me to investigate my memories from childhood. In Tracy Zager’s “Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had“, she urged me to think about my maths autobiography to see what influenced my current feelings about maths. In Stuart Brown’s “Play“, he urged me to think about my play […]
Looking back at my blog over the past few months, I’ve done a lot of these “book reading” posts. I really did mean to do some more on other ideas, but I felt I had to get these thoughts out of the way first. So here’s another book reading post, this time about the book […]
Over the last week or so, I have been reading the book “Math on the Move” by Malke Rosenfeld (subtitled “Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning”). Ever since connecting with Malke on Twitter back in June or July, I’ve wanted to read her book, and I finally just bought it and read it. Now that […]
Once upon a time, I did a PhD in projective geometry. It was all about objects called quadrals (a word I made up) – ovals, ovoids, conics, quadrics and their cones – and the lines associated with them – tangents, secants, external lines, generator lines. During the first two years, I did talks about my […]
At the end of last year, the MTBoS (Math(s) Twitter Blog-o-Sphere) introduced me to this very interesting task: you have a cross made of four equal squares, and you are supposed to colour in exactly 1/4 of the cross and justify why you know it’s a quarter. I call it “Quarter the Cross”.
(The teachers who […]
On the weekend I watched the film “Rise of the Guardians” by Dreamworks Pictures, and it is a very enjoyable film. In it, Jack Frost is enlisted by the Man in the Moon to join the Guardians of Childhood–who already have Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and the Tooth Fairy in their ranks–and […]