Can you fit more boxes in a shipping container than Jane can?

Exploring some of the mathematics in packing a shipping container.

For today’s CAMI meeting, Mark was trying out a draft of a lesson that he wrote with Eric involving volume and units in a workplace context. The problem we explored involves trying to fit rectangular boxes into a shipping container.  Continue reading “Can you fit more boxes in a shipping container than Jane can?”

Tropicana Cash Wheel

In this meeting, Steve challenged us to figure out the best of some bad choices at the casino.

Steve started today’s meeting by sharing that he had recently noticed that the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City has a game called the Cash Wheel. Steve took notes on what he saw and presented us with a representation of the Cash Wheel. Continue reading “Tropicana Cash Wheel”

Exploring Algebraic Thinking in a Math Teachers’ Circle

How to use an inquiry-based exploration of visual thinking to develop algebraic thinking in our adult numeracy and hse classes.

Eric, Solange and Mark led a webinar called “Exploring Algebraic Thinking in a Math Teachers’ Circle”, revisiting a workshop that we gave at the 2015 National COABE Conference. This webinar focuses on an inquiry-based process of algebraic thinking through use of visual patterns and multiple strategies for problem solving, including drawing, different ways of seeing, making charts/tables, and making predictions using rules. Facilitators model an open approach, having students generate their own problems and also discuss how to help students analyze and connect different solution methods and how to bridge visual thinking into algebraic thinking.

Continue reading “Exploring Algebraic Thinking in a Math Teachers’ Circle”

Exploration of Consecutive Numbers

In this meeting, Usha returned to lead an exploration of consecutive numbers through a low-entry, high-ceiling problem she recommends as an introduction to functions/algebra.

For our June meeting, we were lucky to have Usha Kotelawala, Director of Math Education for CUNY’s LINCT to Success, as a guest presenter. Usha started the meeting by talking a little about her thought process in choosing today’s problem. In discussing CAMI with Usha, Eric had raised the issue of how to order problems through a semester, so that the mathematics is sequenced and scaffolded for students and students learn through problem-solving. In response to this question, Usha brought us a problem she recommends as the first in a sequence on algebraic reasoning. Continue reading “Exploration of Consecutive Numbers”

CAMI Roadshow: 2017 COABE and NYC Adult Basic Education Conferences

CAMI did a few workshops in April, sharing our teaching circle’s work on exploring real-life math through three-act math tasks.

Eric and Mark did a workshop at the 2017 COABE Conference in Orlando called Mathematical Modeling: Questions from a Math Teachers’ Circle. A few weeks later at the NYC ABE Conference, Brian took the lead and together with Mark and Eric did a similar workshop called 3-Act Math Tasks: Let Students Build the Problem. Continue reading “CAMI Roadshow: 2017 COABE and NYC Adult Basic Education Conferences”

What Do You Do with a Dizzy Sailor?

CAMI often goes back and forth between problems that challenge us as problem-solvers and those which we could use to develop problem-solving in our students. At this meeting, Solange bridges the divide and does both.

Solange led us in an exploration of two problems – first, the Dizzy Sailor Problem and then the Perimeter of 18 Problem. The former was to challenge and deepen our own problem-solving. The latter was to have a discussion about how some of the math from the dizzy sailor connects to the perimeter of 18, which we all agreed was a problem we could do with our students. Continue reading “What Do You Do with a Dizzy Sailor?”

Carl’s Basketball Problem

With a simple set up, CAMI enters a rabbit hole of notice/wonder and number patterns.

At our meeting, we worked on two tasks that I got last summer at a gathering of teachers from the K-12 system called NYC Twitter Math Camp.

The first is an activity teachers can use to develop group problem-solving norms with students. Continue reading “Carl’s Basketball Problem”

CAMI Roadshow: NCTM 2016

CAMI celebrated its two year anniversary with a few founding CAMI members representing our teachers’ circle at this year’s regional NCTM conference in Philadelphia.

Our session began at 8 in the morning with a small but energetic and enthusiastic group of teachers from Maryland and New Jersey. We started with introductions and a brief introduction to CAMI including a discussion of the Diana Lambdin quote that went out with our initial invitation to CAMI in November 2014… Continue reading “CAMI Roadshow: NCTM 2016”

Making and Testing Conjectures: The Diagonal Problem

Draw a rectangle on grid paper and draw a diagonal. Is there a way to predict the number of squares the diagonal will pass through?

I have been thinking about MP3 from the Common Core, specifically about how to get students to make conjectures, to test those conjectures and to refine their conjectures when it turned out they were not always true. I was also thinking about student perseverance and helping them not get too frustrated. I’ve done some activities like Marilyn Burns’ consecutive sums problem (see additional resources below), but I want something that feels messier and a little more unwieldy. Continue reading “Making and Testing Conjectures: The Diagonal Problem”

Roller Derby (& probabilities in passing HSE exams)

April’s meeting was in two parts: First we played a dice game named Roller Derby, developing and analyzing game strategies. Then we discussed some of the odds of the TASC.

After introductions and a brief discussion of how we’ve each used dice in our classes in the past, Mark gave out a Roller Derby board – basically a sheet divided into twelve columns, numbered 1-12 – and twelve colored chips to each person and invited everyone to distribute their chips across their board any way they wanted.

Then he broke up the group into pairs, gave out a red and white die to each pair and gave out the rules: Continue reading “Roller Derby (& probabilities in passing HSE exams)”