Grid Power

What mathematical questions can you ask of a blank piece of grid paper?

After CAMI was recently accepted as a member of the Math Teachers’ Circle Network, a few of us started exploring their resources, which include a series of videos of mathematicians leading teacher circles. Eric was inspired to share today’s problem after watching Tatiana Shubin’s Grid Power.

Eric started the meeting by asking participants to look at a blank piece of graph paper for 7 minutes and write down questions that came up. 7 minutes?! Yes, 7 minutes. Continue reading “Grid Power”

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”

CAMI Roadshow: COABE 2016

Facilitating a meeting in Dallas, while live-tweeting with teachers in NYC, we explored a visual pattern to model what our teachers’ circle is all about.

This CAMI Roadshow involved about 35 teachers in a ballroom at the Sheraton at the 2016 COABE conference and 3 additional teachers who were back in NYC, participating through Twitter.

We wanted to maximize teachers’ time working on the problem but we also wanted to convey some important norms about how we run CAMI meetings, so we began with an ice breaker. The instructions were simple. First, everyone sat down (including the facilitators). After that, the only goal was that there be 5 people standing and the only rule was we had to do it without talking. Continue reading “CAMI Roadshow: COABE 2016”

Three-Act Math: Super Stairs

For our second three-act math task, we learn it is sometimes just as interesting when mathematical models do not work and we have to figure out why.

This week, CAMI continued learning about Dan Meyer’s three-act math model by working on the Super Stairs problem. In keeping with the three-act framework, we started the meeting by watching the short video
below a few times and then posing some questions. Continue reading “Three-Act Math: Super Stairs”

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”