A few weeks ago, I led a workshop on taxicab geometry at the San Jose and Palo Alto Math Teacher Circles. Taxicab geometry is based on redefining distance between two points, with the assumption you can only move horizontally and vertically. So the taxicab distance from the origin to (2, 3) is 5, as you… Continue reading Taxicab geometry
My early forays as a curriculum developer date back to my days as a K-5 math specialist in the 1970's. A key insight of my young self was that activities intended for students were that much more worthwhile if they were also interesting to me. I learned to view with suspicion activities that were boring… Continue reading Polyarcs
Taxicab Geometry I will be leading workshops on taxicab geometry at the AIM Math Teachers Circles next week. Here is the announcement:Please join us for math and dinner with Henri Picciotto (www.mathedpage.org)!The topic will be Taxicab Geometry. Many concepts in geometry depend on the idea of distance: the triangle inequality, the definition of a circle, the value… Continue reading April: in the streets!
At the San Francisco Math Teachers' Circle yesterday (March 4, 2017), we explored four "teacher-level" geoboard problems (All can be adapted for classroom use.) Here is a brief report, including some spoilers, I'm afraid. Pick's Formula It turns out that the area of a geoboard polygon can be figured out by counting the lattice points… Continue reading Geoboard Problems for Teachers
I will offer two workshops this summer (2017), at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA. Sign up for either or both! June 26-27: Hands-On Geometry (grades 6-10) June 28-30: Transformational Geometry (grades 8-11) If the times or locations don't work for you, I can offer a workshop for your school or district. Contact me directly.… Continue reading Geometry Boot Camp!
Much can be said in defense of practice exercises, but when all is said and done, very few students develop deep understanding from routine practice. For example, compare these two approaches to the area of a trapezoid. Approach 1The teacher says: ”The area of a trapezoid is given by the formula h(b1+b2)/2, where h is… Continue reading Comparing two approaches
This is my yearly report on the Asilomar conference of the California Math Council, Northern Section. Because I was presenting three times, I didn't end up attending as many sessions as I would have liked. As always at Asilomar, I enjoyed hanging out with my ex-colleagues, running into friends, and meeting the occasional fan of… Continue reading Time and Tide
I have a bunch of presentations coming up. That will be your last chance to hear me for a while, as my NCTM San Antonio talk was rejected†. Who knows, maybe retirement will finally kick in!Online Webinar: Reaching the Full RangeAs everyone knows, students learn math at different rates. What should we do about it?… Continue reading Upcoming presentations
A classic activity is to cover a 1-inch-side dodecagon with pattern blocks. This provides a great context to discuss symmetry (see Geometry Labs 5.6.) Here is one way to do it:See many others, found by Simon Gregg's students.In the past few days, I've had fun making a double-size, quadruple-area dodecagon: You too, and… Continue reading Big Dodecagon
In between June 27 and August 4, 2016, I presented seven to ten workshops (depending on how you count) ranging from a couple of hours to four days. I share most of the handouts, resources, and slides on my Summer Workshops site. (See below my signature for more details on what's there.)The site will remain… Continue reading Eclectic