The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Folklore – River Crossing – Collatz – the Elephant – Siri – Cannibals

(April 28, May 5, and May 12, 2015)  We’ve had 3 sessions so far, and I see 3 big themes developing in this 5-session course for 9-11 year olds: Everyone thinks that “Everyone Else in the Room is Better at Math than Me.” Not everyone realizes what math is really about. There’s culture/folklore in mathematics that the kids are starting…

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ESCHER #5: All About Assumptions

ESCHER #5:  All About Assumptions (February 10, 2015)  I brought in some soccer balls to continue our discussion about which regular polygons can be tessellated.  The kids discovered that the balls were a pattern of both pentagons and hexagons.  The question became “Why?”  Conjectures:  Roundness?  Size? Of course, since soccer balls are 3-D, they weren’t going to answer our question…

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GARDNER #5: Life, Murder, and Box Tops

LIFE (October 21, 2014)  Last week’s boardwork was on display before the students arrived.  M, who was absent last week, was early for class today.  She saw the board and immediately asked, “Why does it say ‘die?’” “Ask them,” I told her, indicating J and L, who were also early for class.  J set the board up for Life1. Then…

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I LEARN SOMETHING: Mathematical Thinking with Five-Year-Olds, 4.0

  (April 8, 2014)  We started out playing a few logic games – “Picking Fruit” and “Wearing Hats.”  The students had fun using process of elimination to deduce what couldn’t be seen.  The students announced one conjecture, then would immediately change their minds, then revert, etc.  (Once again, insight is fleeting.)  One student didn’t want to commit to any conjecture. …

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A Mathematician’s Task (TEEN CIRCLE 1)

  A Mathematician’s Task (TEEN CIRCLE 1) NOVEMBER 5, 2013 Suppose you have an opportunity to play a game that costs $1 to play.  You have a 50% chance of winning.  If you do win, you get $3, but if you lose, you get nothing.  Should you play? I asked this question after some brief discussion of Math Circle practices…

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Math Circle Blog: The Monty Hall Problem

The Monty Hall Problem You are a contestant on a game show.  The host shows you 3 doors.  He tells you that the prize behind one door is $1,000,000 and behind each of the other doors is a goat.  He instructs you to choose a door; you will win whatever is behind it.  You choose a door.  “But wait,” he…

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