## Mondrian Art Puzzle

CAMI plays around with a way to practice multiplication, think about area and extend into algebra and generalizations. Through art!

For our final CAMI meeting of 2017, I wanted to spend some time at a CAMI meeting doing some math that would create some thing visual and beautiful. As I was looking around for activities to bring to the group, I came across the website, Math Pickle (as in “Put your students in a pickle”). They had a trove of math problems that I look forward to exploring in future CAMI meetings. The one I chose for this one is at its core an opportunity for students to practice multiplication in a way that is much more engaging than just memorizing facts and doing worksheets. And it builds works of art. As I started to play around with it, I started to notice different ways to think about how to make designs with the best score. Continue reading “Mondrian Art Puzzle”

## Dana’s Rectangle

Inspired by the work of the Navajo Math Circle, CAMI explores the area of rectangles and their borders, testing conjectures and making generalizations.

Eric started the meeting by talking about the Navajo Math Circles, which is a joint project of the Navajo Nation and mathematicians from Math Teachers Circle Network. A recent documentary tells the story. This meeting’s problem is from an article about the Navajo Math Circle (see Further Reading pdf link above) by Tatiana Shubin, whose video Grid Power was the subject of this past July’s CAMI meeting.

## 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”

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”

## Signed Number Pyramids

Using number pyramids to practice adding signed numbers leads to a surprising discovery.

Jane started the meeting by telling us that her class has been studying signed numbers recently. She has been looking for creative ways for them to understand adding and subtracting signed numbers. One example was to imagine taking away negativity as the same thing as making someone happier.

## Pascal’s Triangle

A big thank you to Turning Point for hosting us this month and raising the bar for all future hosts. We started with a tour of TP’s building and saw their classrooms, offices, and rooftop deck (!). Evidence of great student work is everywhere with student posters and presentations on the diverse topics of supply and demand, classified ads for housing, and dice and probability. It was wonderful to see such a beautiful, well-established community-based education program with full-time staff. And they provided refreshments!

For this meeting, we looked at Pascal’s Triangle, since it came up in discussion at the end of the October craps meeting Continue reading “Pascal’s Triangle”

## 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.