The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

OPEN Q’s #6: Liar’s Dice

(May 26, 2016)  Split into 3 teams.  Each team gets 5 dice.  Roll them all, look at them, but don’t let the other team see them.  The first team makes a 2-digit bid.  The first digit of the bid is your prediction of the total number of dice of a certain value every team combined has.  The second digit is…

Read More→

COMPASS ART 1: Intro to Geometry

(September 17, 2015)  Our new math circle course on compass art for 9-11 year olds began with a switcheroo activity:  I gave everyone a printout of an image, and about every 30 seconds said “switch!”  I asked them to pass their page clockwise one person.  The images included: Mandalas from various traditions (Celtic, etc), Zarah Hussein’s Islamic art, Native American…

Read More→

Maker: The Great Toy Remix

The Great Toy Remix Week of 2/23/15 Before we delve into the events that took place on Thursday this week, we ought to recap Tuesday’s projects. As a preliminary activity before the main project, the group created geometric shapes with peas and carrots. At least that’s what I was expecting them to make. Maybe it was the rush of nutrients their…

Read More→

Maker: Sublimation and Polyhedrons

Sublimation and Polyhedrons January 29th, 2014 In all sincerity, sometimes I feel like I gain more from these Maker Class sessions than the young people do. Particularly in the area of mathematics and the sciences, where your children seem to not only be well-versed but conceptually sound as well. I am recalling one discussion brought on by Earth’s electromagnetic fields…

Read More→

Math Circle Blog: Infinity, the Prime Directive, and Perplexity

It’s Good to be Perplexed in Math N came up to the board a number of times as we continued last week’s probability problem.*  D had planned to start class with a new approach, but didn’t because his ideas had changed over the week.  N first came up to question the possibility of actually choosing chords randomly.  He suggested an…

Read More→

Math Circle Blog: The Popcorn Problem

Geometry, arithmetic, optimization, logic, and question asking. SEPTEMBER 18, 2012: “What would it take to fill this room with popcorn?” “a big popcorn machine” “the machine running a long time” “a lot of patience” “corn, heat, oil” “a small factory” “a lot of people” At this point in this term’s first math circle, participants began to debate whether these things…

Read More→

The Perfect Circle, the Perfect Rock, the Perfect Perpendicular Bisector

Interesting. Surprising. True.   “Well, we don’t want to waste erasers here in Alexandria, so this is the best method,” argued R (playing the role of Euclid), after she demonstrated how to perpendicularly bisect a line with only a ruler, a straightedge, and a piece of chalk. She faced off in debate against characters who might have different perspectives on…

Read More→

Please Show Me. No, Please DON’T Show Me!

Geometry is not just the basis of language, but is a language in itself.   “Oh no, now she’s going to ask us the definition of the word flat,” said Z, after the whole group had agreed that a plane can be defined as a “never-ending flat surface without thickness.” I asked, “But aren’t you asking yourselves what flat means?” and the…

Read More→