Teaching the factoring of the sum of cubes and difference of cubes was not a priority for me in my teaching, and the topic does not seem to be part of the Common Core Standards. However, some people do have to include it in their classes, and as a result the subject occasionally comes up… Continue reading Sum and Difference of Cubes

# Tag: MyBooks

## Minimum Polyomino Cover

When I taught elementary school (1971-1981 or so) I had more time for “enrichment”, which for me meant excursions off the beaten curricular path, especially into the world of recreational math. As a result, my first publications were largely about geometric puzzles. (Those books were assembled a few years later. More info about my books.) Anyway, one… Continue reading Minimum Polyomino Cover

## Geometric Puzzles at Asilomar

I'll be presenting a session on Geometric Puzzles at the Asilomar meeting of the California Math Council. (Saturday, Dec 2, Sanderling, 1:30pm The printed program says I'm in the middle school, but that is not correct. The app has the location right.). I will include material that I believe is relevant to teachers from kindergarten… Continue reading Geometric Puzzles at Asilomar

## Puzzles for the Classroom

In my last post, I shared some generalities about puzzle creation. Today, I will zero in on the specifics of creating puzzles for the mathematics classroom. I will do this by way of analyzing some examples. Multiple PathsA characteristic of all classrooms is that they are constituted of students whose backgrounds and talents vary widely. … Continue reading Puzzles for the Classroom

## Stumped by Euclidea

I've really enjoyed solving the puzzles in Euclidea, a brilliantly designed app for iOS and Android. The basic format is "given this, construct that". You start with just two tools: a straightedge and a slack compass (i.e. a compass that does not remember the radius it was last set to). As you find useful and… Continue reading Stumped by Euclidea

## Errata

According to Merriam-Webster, the word errata means "errors" in Latin, but it is used in English to mean corrigenda which in Latin means "corrections". So there you have it: errors can be corrected — student errors, teacher errors, and (ahem) curriculum developer errors.My books, great as they are, do contain errors. Some are small errors… Continue reading Errata

## Geoboard Problems for Teachers

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

## Algebra Manipulatives

A middle school teacher writes: Just a little note and question about Lab Gear. I have been having so much fun with my students using Lab Gear again this year. The 3D-ness of it totally blows the other (cheaper) algebra tiles that I used last year out of the water! I have heard this often… Continue reading Algebra Manipulatives

## Reading Algebra

Symbol sense is an essential part of mathematical literacy. It is the understanding that undergirds effective symbol manipulation, and perhaps more basically the ability to interpret and create algebraic expressions. Symbol sense, like number sense and operation sense, is not learned so much through listening to a teacher. Rather, it grows as one gets practice… Continue reading Reading Algebra

## Eclectic

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