Archive for the ‘Math Stuff’ Category


Happiness is Playing With Circles

August 17, 2014

When I saw this puzzle by Curmudgeon, I was seriously intrigued.

The circles have radius 1, and the seven lettered regions are of equal area. The question is, what is the area of the pentagon?

After doing some algebra, I figured out that the area of the regions had to be \frac{\pi}{4}, but the problem is figuring out the height of the pentagon. Not knowing what else to do, I set it up in Geometer’s Sketchpad. I’m trying to get used to using Geogebra, but I figured I would work it out first in Sketchpad. I’ll put my solution after the “more” in case you want to work it out for yourself.
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Algebra 3 Standards

July 14, 2014

StephReilly (@reilly1041) asked if I could post some of my material from Algebra 3, which gives me something to write about–yay!

a3bookBackground: When Texas went to requiring four years of math, my district decided to add an “Algebra 3” course. My instructions were to create a class that was beyond Algebra 2 and that could prepare students for college algebra. We picked a great textbook, which I generally followed.

Problem Solving StrategiesI also wanted to have my students practice problem solving, so about twice per six weeks, they had a problem set assigned. These were problems I (mostly) found from Problem Solving Strategies, which is a really great book. I liked these problems, because the math is fairly simple, but the thinking is not. I would give them one class day to work on the problems, and one week to get them finished and turned in.

Here’s what I ended up with for my standards (objectives):
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SEEC 2014 Presentation: Using Astronomy to Create Rich Mathematical Tasks

February 8, 2014

Rich Mathematical Problems in Astronomy

SpaceMath 6Page67

Distance to the Horizon (KEY)

Distance to the Horizon

Distance to the Horizon

Mass and Escape Velocity (KEY)

Mass and Escape Velocity (KEY)

Mass and Escape Velocity

Mass and Escape Velocity


Made4Math Monday: Posters!

August 11, 2013


I have put together a group of posters to get printed, so I thought I’d share the ones I have made. Most of these PDFs are set to print out 11×17.

I actually found this quote on, but I wanted it formatted landscape instead of portrait:

Understand the Universe (thumbnail)

In honor of Max’s great presentation at TMC13 (and @druinok’s favorite font), I made:

Notice and Wonder (thumbnail)

If you want to get lost in great mathematically-related quotes, check out Furman University Mathematical Quotations Server. Some of the good ones I’ve found:

Simpler (thumbnail)


Furthest Bounds of Space (thumbnail)

I get very tired of students who want to exert the least amount of effort possible. It occurred to me that just about any time a student asked me “Can I just …”, the student wanted to take an easy way out. Thus:

Can I Just (thumbnail)


Habits of Mind

August 21, 2012

I really like the “Habits of Mind” that that Breedeen‘s team developed.



August 15, 2012

Via Math Munch:

Math Sculptures


Cool Ideas from Made 4 Math

August 14, 2012

I’m not sure if I will use it (although I will definitely show it to S), but I thought this was a great idea from @csteketee21:

Noise Level

Also, I liked misscalcul8‘s door poster:

Door Poster