The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Rachel Co-Leads

(May 20, 2014) Rachel Steinig co-led the session with me today, so I’ll let her tell the story of what happened: Today at Math Circle we did a lot of math (no kidding). WE started out reading a puzzle from the book by Smiullyan. I had read the puzzle earlier, sort of guessed the answer, but I never was totally…

Read More→

More Logic, More Factoring, and Sticking with Tough Problems

THE CRIMINALS OF THE WEEK (May 13, 2014) “It’s time talk about the criminals,” I announced to an exuberant group of kids who were not quite ready to settle into math circle.  The word criminals got their attention.  We tackled Smullyan’s Inspector Craig mystery puzzle #74.  I expected a huge struggle for 2 reasons: more clues to keep track of,…

Read More→

The Ants Go Marching

(May 6, 2014)  Today I have a quickie report and lots of photos. We started with Smuyllan’s Inspector Craig puzzle #72.  Today our variables A, B, and C represented Able, Beatrice, and Cable.  I asked the kids if they realized that these are different people from the A, B, and C last week.  “Of course,” came the reply.  Then the…

Read More→

Role-Playing the Need for Numbers

  (April 22, 2014)  Today was the first of a six-week math circle for ages-6-7.  We began with a crime-solving logic puzzle involving 3 characters, Abigail, Bartram, and Carle.  This puzzle was Smullyan’s puzzle #71 of his “From the Files of Inspector Craig.”1  The four kids in attendance solved it methodically, cooperatively, and with glee.  We had bonus fun postulating…

Read More→

Can Crows Count?

Inspector Craig Cases/Variables (April 29, 2014) We began with Smullyan’s puzzle #72 (another Inspector Craig whodunit). Before class, I wondered whether to use his convention of calling the suspects in each case A, B, and C.  The cases are distinct, and the variables are true variables – they represent different people in each equation… I mean in each case.  I…

Read More→

Logic for the Very Young

Logic for the Very Young (February 26 and March 5, 2013) “One afternoon, 2 children wander into a Kingdom unknown to them ….” So began our two-week Math Circle for children aged 6-7.  This story framed an exploration of logic games, questions, and strategies.  I had lost my voice, so my assistant Rachel led the Circle while I sat quietly…

Read More→

Math Circle: Logic Session #2: Knights, Liars, and Percy Jackson

(January 15, 2013)  As students trickled in, the kids immediately resumed debate over one of last week’s question, “What happens if an irresistible cannonball hits an immovable post?”1 The new kids, H and L, were now clued in, but the question was not resolved. Once everyone had arrived I introduced 2 puppets who came to help them with our questions: …

Read More→

Math Circle: Logic Session #1: Lounging Around

January 15, 2013 We lounged around the room, talking about math.  M and I sat on the floor, slouched against the wall while E lay on the floor.  J did the occasional unobtrusive headstand while D, V, and C sat in chairs.  I never moved from my position, not even to get up and write something else on the board. …

Read More→