Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mathematical coloring

Last week, I was looking at mathematical coloring pages to use for math circle's holiday party, and I found this awesome free PDF by the mathematician Marshall Hampton.  The patterns are beautiful and fun to color, but also involve some deep mathematics!

BTW, if you're looking for a mathematical coloring book to give as a gift, I highly recommend buying either Patterns of the Universe (Amazon affiliate link here) or Visions of the Universe (Amazon affiliate link here) by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A better way to teach geometry

Today, I saw this blog post by Christopher Danielson entitled "How I Learned to Love Middle School Geometry".  I thought it was super useful for parents, math circle instructors, and math teachers. A few highlights:

- Students spend a lot of time learning how to classify quadrilaterals throughout the years (see example below).  But what if you asked them to do the same thing for hexagons? Suddenly, there's creativity, invention, and discovery! This seems like an awesome idea for a math circle or a school math class.

- His book entitled Which one doesn't belong? (Amazon affiliate link here) also looks awesome. On each page there are four shapes, and any one of them could be the one that doesn't belong - so instead of finding the correct answer, it's all about explaining and justifying your reasoning.  For example, in the cover image below, the bottom right could be the odd one out because it has 5 sides and the rest have 6.  Or the top right shape, because it's the only one that's not convex. Can you think of criteria that make each of the two leftmost shapes not belong?

Clicking the image leads to an Amazon affiliate link