We use ideas about probability to predict what might happen. The coin flip, for instance, is a basic example of probability that most people are familiar with. Heads or tails. Fifty-fifty. Even-Steven. If you flip a fair coin many-many times, half the flips will come up heads and the other half will be tails. It’s not hard to think this through. You see the coin. You see … [Read more...] about Put 100 Marbles in a Bucket
What Teachers Study
Years ago when I was teaching reading and writing to elementary school children, I often incorporated songs into our lessons. It was fun and helped many of the children a lot. Most small children haven’t internalized ideas like “can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” so singing comes easily to them. Some children learn melodies more readily than sentences. I found that children … [Read more...] about What Teachers Study
The First Inquiry Pack is IN!
An Inquiry Pack is a collection of activities and ideas that invite you to think as a mathematician, an engineer and an artist. It’s not a pack of stuff. It’s a pack of ideas, suggestions and challenges. The inquiries in each pack invite you to make something or fiddle with simple objects and think about what you are doing. They encourage you to observe what’s in front of you, … [Read more...] about The First Inquiry Pack is IN!
Make It, Dress It
Many people think that the people who play with dolls and the people who use mathematics are two different kinds of people. If you think that way, think some more. While you are thinking, make some doll clothes. First, you need a doll. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to make one out of wire and rags. Twist and bend the wire into a “skeleton” that will be inside the doll. … [Read more...] about Make It, Dress It
Connecting the Dots
If I tell someone that my favorite branch of math is graph theory, communication seldom occurs. People think I take delight in jagged lines and pie charts. They are all too happy to change the subject. It’s an understandable misunderstanding. The meaning of the word graph in graph theory is related to the word graphic. The graphs of graph theory are little pictures, real … [Read more...] about Connecting the Dots