Monthly Archives: November 2012

59 – MathCounts resources

I’m thrilled that we can offer MathCounts as an elective for our students — even though it’s only three 30-minute periods a week. If your school is not ready for the Competition, their Club Program is great too. There are so many great resources at the site: Problem of the Week, the Handbook has 300 great problems, and engaging Club […]

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58 – more graph stories

Busy busy day. We’re loving the graph stories in algebra.     Geometry kids did the rope trick.      Yeah, our first rally today!! Here they are at the second station, having to dip face into whip cream to find a bubble game and then have to blow the gum. Good times until my homeroom […]

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57 – exploring special quadrilaterals

I’m pleased with how this lesson turned out. It’s a good bet when I do very little and kids do all the talking in class. On grid paper, kids were asked to do the following: Draw a quadrilateral. Write one sentence about it. Draw a parallelogram. Mark it up. Add words to describe it, if […]

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56 – smallest positive integer game

The kids loved this game so much I thought I saw tears streaming down their faces when we had to end it. Sheesh.   MathCounts has a PDF on it. Patrick Vennebush — has a nice blog too — shares his analysis of the game here.   We played 10 rounds, but I didn’t tell them about the rule […]

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55 – triangular numbers and then sum

Today is a Monday so, as usual, we do our daily math warm-up of What’s Next?   The “extra challenge” question on this warm-up asks for the formula for finding the sum of the numbers in the nth row of this array:  My students do a lot of pattern problems, and this group wanted to whiteboard this extra challenge, extending the […]

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54 – gangnam style

Today is a half-day before Thanksgiving break. This means a lot of kids are absent. But a day like this is exactly why I try to carry on as usual — I want to let the kids who are present know that I value school time and their time in class.   That’s why we […]

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53 – ration ratios

Pretty sure I got this problem from Math Forum POWS some years ago. It’s fun. At a recent math conference, lunch was provided for the participants. To be sure that there was enough food for everyone, the kitchen staff made more lunches than there were people attending. In fact, the ratio of prepared lunches to people was […]

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52 – locker problem

Every year I have at least one 8th grade group work on the famous Locker Problem. I used the wording from    It’s nice to hear these kids throw out strategies that they now commonly use when we whiteboard: “Let’s do just 20 lockers. Do a smaller problem,” or “Let’s act this out,” or “Can […]

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51 – Nim game and GSP

The kids make fun of me when I refer to every lesson and every game as my favorite. But honestly, my favorite favorite game is Nim.   This pdf has a bunch of other fun game grids, Cross Nim is on page 8.     Finally!!!! Our Mac laptops came back from the shop! Geez louise, they took them out […]

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50 – rise over run

Last year I did this slope lesson with 6th graders — and wrote it up here. It was one of my all-time favorite lessons, so I thought I’d use it with my 8th grade algebra class. Glad I did because oh boy, these kids really needed to think about what slope meant besides “rise over run.”    

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