Math Mondays: Math Treats Blog Hop

Welcome for the first Math Mondays blog hop, our theme is math treats in honor of Halloween. Isn't all math a treat, I thought, well except maybe conics (sorry for those who love them).  Anyway, thinking about treats, I thought about all the fun activities we do and the resources we use where even my "I don't like math" kids have fun. It was hard to choose just one but as the reading of this book resulted in the declaration by one student stating sincerely that "Pascal's triangle is beautiful," I had to share.



I've written before about the Murderous Maths (which seems especially fitting for Halloween) series, but today's treat is
Do you feel lucky?. The focus of this book is the concept of probability. The Murderous Math books are always available in my classroom, but this one was specifically laid out with other probability resources while we were working on our probability and genetics of dragons project. What I and my students love about Do You Feel Lucky:

It's funny. Well that's not unique to this Murderous math book, but it's still worth noting.






It leaves room for inquiry. For example, when the author introduces Pascal's triangle, he doesn't just say this is how it works. He invites you to discover it for yourself. That student who declared the triangle beautiful actually sat down with a notebook and started writing out the triangle and figured out the pattern. She was so motivated that soon she had the first 15 lines written, doing all the calculations on her own.

The probability concepts you always wanted to know are explained through clever narrative. In the chapter Heads or Dishes, gangsters rely on a coin toss to decide whether they will have to wash dishes to pay for their bill at the restaurant. They are confident they will win, but why?  Isn't there a 50/50 chance?  Well... Nope can't tell you, you have to read the book.

I, and more importantly my students, find this book a real treat.  And for a treat you can use today, grab a set of free secondary math puzzlers.  More math treats from other teacher-bloggers are worth a look in the links below.


Math Mondays is a weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message on Facebook or at the store in the question and answer section. 


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9 comments

  1. Thanks Doc! I love narrative math books like that--definitely will check it out!

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    1. Glad to share resources.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  2. I've never read this book. Got to add it to my summer reading. Have you read The Number Devil? It's a fun one, too!

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    1. I LOVE the Number Devil...hmmm, maybe need to share it with the rest of the community. Thanks for the reminder, Jean.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  3. My students and I love Pascal's Triangle! We spend a day exploring all the patterns that exist within the triangle. Fascinating!

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    1. Pascal's Triangle just seems like one of the coolest parts of math. Glad to find a fellow fan.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  4. SO exciting to see kids get excited for learning...especially when it's Pascal's Triangle. Something so simple and timeless, yet so meaningful to see them get excited for it. Will definitely check out the Murderous Math series, thanks Doc!

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    1. Yep, and now kids are seeing examples of Pascal's Triangle patterns everywhere. Love it.

      Cheers,
      DocRunning

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  5. Murderous Maths looks so cool! I really need to check those out!

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