TAG: play

Struggling students are exploring too

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.
This […]

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Fairy Bread

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, […]

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Home in One Piece: a game of strategy using play dough

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 […]

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Childhood memories

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 […]

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Book Reading: Play – How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul

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 […]

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Book Reading: Math on the Move

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 […]

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David Butler and the Prisoner of Alhazen

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 […]

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Quarter the Cross

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 […]

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Jack Frost’s centre

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 […]

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Kindy is awesome

My younger daughter started kindy last week, and I got to actually be there for the beginning of her first day. It was one of those moments only a parent can understand as I realised with both excitement and sadness that my little baby was not a baby any more.
But this is a maths learning […]

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