Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Playful Math Education Carnival #116

Welcome to the 116th Playful Math Education Carnival! I'm Simon, your host this month. I'm giving the Carnival a bit of a Twitter twist, because Twitter's such a great way to find out about lots of the  playful mathematics that's happening.

Math Camp

Sometimes people need spaces outside the usual classroom to get playful. Meredith asked:
and got a lot of good answers. Mike came up with 15 (+1 bonus) ideas. Lybrya reminded her about Jo Boaler's Week of Inspirational Maths. Paula recommended flexagons. Kent recommended  Exploding Dots. Melissa recommended mathematical art - Celtic knots or compass work - and the sort of math puzzle table activities that Sarah specialises in. Kathy added Mathlicious and Desmos. And Brian replied with Yummymath. Michaela went for activities from MathforLove.

And, getting really physical, Malke of Math in Your Feet fame has a Moving Patterns Summer Pilot too that explores mathematical ideas in a playful and energetic way.

Geometric patterns

Somehow, geometry lends itself to play especially well. Like Annie Perkins making this islamic pattern, based on a 'jali' or screen with holes in it:
Ferozkoh Jali by Annie
Turquoise Mountain made it in wood for their exhibition. Samira Mian taught it on one of her online courses. Annie painted it, Paula embellished it, Martin made it dance, John Geogebra-ed it. Then Paula used the pattern to create all sorts of tetrahedron-y creations, including an amazing folding version. And Vincent saw a link with the 'Pavage de Diane' He animated the tiling:

And, noticed that at one point it looks like a triaxial weaving pattern. Alison, who explores the mathematics of triaxial weaving in depth found the one:

Talking of Vincent and geometry, have you seen the delicious book Geometry Snacks which he co-authored with Ed Southall?

Other arts

Jazz musician and mathematician, Marcus Miller writes about the commonalities in creativity in jazz and mathematics.

Malke continues to crochet exquisite hyperbolic forms:

The 13th Gathering for Gardner took place this month. Read an interview with Fields Medal winner Manjul Bhargava on how games inspired him as a mathematician. And see this older video for how his cultural heritage of music and poetry played a part too:

More on Games

Kent Haines blogs about Peg Solitaire.

Jon Orr sees a lesson about tricks and understanding, playing Nim with his daughters.

Alison Kiddle blogs on playful mathematics at the BCME Conference. Becky Warren blogs about a session on a non-routine activity with counters, and also on using pattern blocks for the first time.
Becky's pattern block fish
LC Dawson used Q-bitz to create fraction talks (and which one doesn't belong? images).
And, returning to patterns, she's also been busy putting Christopher Danielson's '21st century pattern blocks' to brilliant use:

And talking of Christopher, his new book and teacher guide How Many? is out (preview here).


Denise Gaskins orgainises this monthly carnival.  But she needs monthly hosts: why not volunteer to host an edition?

Let's finish with her consideration of the place of curiosity in learning mathematics,
and for good measure her appreciation of Keith Devlin on mathematical thinking.

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