“Reversed” Ages

A simple situation with a mother and daughter’s ages leads to many questions and interesting observations.

In August, at a summer board meeting of the Adult Numeracy Network, the fabulous Sarah Lonberg-Lew (@MathSarahLL) shared a problem. Well, it wasn’t really a problem, more like something she noticed. In the meeting, she asked what we noticed and what questions we might ask.

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There’s More to Tic Tac Toe than You Know…

We welcomed two first time CAMI members to a meeting where we once again looked deeply at something that is so familiar, we take it for granted. Greg Fein’s exploration helped us to unpack tic-tac-toe and find the math. It turns out is an ancient game with roots all over the world, with perhaps something innately human at the heart of it.


Greg started by putting a familiar drawing on the board and asked us what came to mind:

We responded with “tic-tac-toe, hashtag, 9 squares, right angles. parallel lines…”

Greg then focused us on our first impression and asked us to remember the rules of tic-tac-toe:

  1. X goes first in one of 9 spaces.
  2. Then O chooses a space.
  3. X and O alternate turns.
  4. The game ends when there are 3 X’s or 3 O’s in a row or when all the spaces are filled.
  5. If all the spaces are filled and there are not 3 X’s or O’s in a row, then the game is a draw.

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Millions and Billions

I need your help visualizing millions and billions.

In a recent interview on Innovation Hub, the mathematician and educator Steven Strogatz reflected on math education (specifically the requirement for students to study algebra) and the level of number in the general public:

“We don’t do a very good job of teaching what you might think of as numeracy, that is, the use of arithmetic [in the real world]. So, here’s an example: In current political discussion, there is a lot of talk from Senator Sanders about millionaires and billionaires, right? Continue reading “Millions and Billions”

Resources from NCTM 2016

So many games, puzzles and problems from the NCTM annual meeting…

In April, along with some other CAMI members, Jane and Solange went to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) annual meeting in San Francisco. In this meeting, they shared some of their favorite games, puzzles and problems from different workshops.

We started with the game Which Number is Closest? from Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games, by Linda Dacey and Jayne Bamford Lynch. We played a variation of the game where we each rolled a ten-sided die and then wrote down each number in the box of our choice. Continue reading “Resources from NCTM 2016”

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)

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