Three-Act Math: Probability in Craps

What are the odds of winning at craps? Is craps a fair game? What’s your chance of making the point? A three-act math task inspires some questions in probability.

Act One: Launch

We began by watching a clip from the move, A Bronx Tale. (Be warned: there is some… colorful language in this clip)

Continue reading “Three-Act Math: Probability in Craps”

Happy Numbers and the Melancoil

Our work on this month’s problem led us to the beginning of a larger exploration of a very curious repeated loop in a certain sequence of numbers.

This month’s problem comes from the 2015 Stanford-Math League Tournament Individual Questions for grades 6 & 7.

Continue reading “Happy Numbers and the Melancoil”

Three-Act Math: The Royal Flush

This was the third time CAMI tried out using a 3-Act math task. This one is called Royal Flush and is organized around the probability of a poker hand in Texas Hold’em.

Introduction

Do you play cards? What kinds of cards do you play? What do cards have to do with probability?

Continue reading “Three-Act Math: The Royal Flush”

Three-Act Math: Pyramid of Pennies

We talked about problem-posing and inspiring student curiosity in math as we tried out a three-act math task created by Dan Meyer

To start off the meeting, in pairs we discussed – “Real life math”: What does it mean to you? In your classrooms?

Continue reading “Three-Act Math: Pyramid of Pennies”

Problem-Posing with Visual Patterns

We can get conditioned to approach visual patterns in a particular way and jump immediately to the problem of looking for the nth figure (# of squares, for example). Beginning with an open, problem-posing approach can help break us out of that habit and really open up the mathematics.

Usha led us through an exploration of a visual pattern, building off of the work we’ve done at the last two meetings. She used problem posing to enable us to have greater ownership on the problem and to widen options to explore.

Continue reading “Problem-Posing with Visual Patterns”

Toothpick Patterns: Growing Squares, Growing Triangles, Growing Stairs

We wanted to build off the problem from last meeting, exploring visual patterns, with a focus on different ways of approaching these problems and how can we bring them into the classroom.

Continue reading “Toothpick Patterns: Growing Squares, Growing Triangles, Growing Stairs”

Pentagon Patterns

Still looking for a name for our group, we went around introducing ourselves and each offered one word for our group vision:

Fun, Math, Community, Community, Building, Sharing, Other People’s Thoughts, Resources, Escape, Learning, Ideas, Adult/Young Adult, Inspiration

Continue reading “Pentagon Patterns”

10 Problems: Our First Meeting!

“No matter how kindly, clearly, patiently, or slowly teachers explain, they cannot make students understand. Understanding takes place in the students’ minds as they connect new information with previously developed ideas, and teaching through problem solving is a powerful way to promote this kind of thinking. Teachers can help and guide their students, but understanding occurs as a by-product of solving problems and reflecting on the thinking that went into those problem solutions”

(Lambdin, 2003)

Continue reading “10 Problems: Our First Meeting!”