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2019

 
On Saturday, January 12,

Fellow math enthusiasts gathered at the Education Service Center of Northeast Ohio to explore mathematics at the recent Crooked River MathTeachers’ Circle. Kate Lane teased the group with a the popular dice game of Tenzi. Sara Good followed with the Mystery Calculator, a mathematical treasure found in many Christmas Crackers during the holidays.The group used deductive reasoning to uncover how and why the Mystery Calculator worked. In the afternoon, Lynn Aring challenged participants with an Estimathon after taking them through engaging tasks of estimation from Estimation180.com.

Join the Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle on Thursday, March 7,2019 from 4:30-7:30 at the same location. Registration begins at 4:00pm. For more information and resources, visit crookedrivermtc.org and follow us onTwitter@crookedrivermtc.

2018

It’s Only Logical

Dr. Paul F. Zachlin

5/17/18

In our final evening session of the 2017-2018 school year, we explored logical reasoning.  The session began with a Math teaser where Dr. Kate Lane had participants work on a 5x5 and then a 10x10 Nonogram.  An endless supply of these brain teasers can be found at https://www.puzzle-nonograms.com/.

Next, we played a number-guessing game called Pico, Fermi, Bagel.  This game is similar to the popular board game from the 1970s called Mastermind, although repetition is not allowed. 

The question was raised whether allowing repetition makes the game more challenging, and so we transferred to an analysis of Mastermind. 

You can see our questions, observations, and strategies for these games by clicking here: Mastermindquestionsobservationstrategies 

After some discussion, we tackled a series of exercises designed to develop strategy for Mastermind, which were taken from Section 2 of the article by Tom Davis.

We then learned that back in 1976, Donald Knuth proved that the game of Mastermind can always be won in five moves or less, and we looked at the paper

We finished the evening by looking at a paper published in a Biology Journal entitled,
Using the Game of Mastermind to Teach, Practice, and Discuss Scientific Reasoning Skills

Thanks to everyone who participated – it was a very engaged group!

 

 

 

 

The IDEAS of March
Dr. Paul Zachlin

3/15/18

The Crooked River Math Teacher Circle had an enjoyable evening analyzing puzzles.  We began by playing around with SOMA cubes.  Nanette Reilly guided us through some of the history of the puzzle before asking us to each build our own set out of wooden blocks and glue.  It was amazing how much mathematical discussion was generated at the tables as we participated in her activity.

Next, we pondered where to find the “missing area” as we looked at The Missing Square Puzzle.

Then the rest of the evening was spent on The Stomachion, a 2200-year-old puzzle associated with Archimedes.  In our groups we worked through an activity published as part of the NCTM Illuminations series.

Before wrapping up the evening, we looked at a few links that detailed some of the fascinating story of this puzzle.  Our primary reference was a page at the Cornell website, since it was Cornell mathematician Bill Cutler who solved the problem posed by Archimedes to find the number of distinct ways to recreate the square from the pieces of the puzzle.

Other links referenced that evening were:

The 2003 N.Y. Times article

A page with a chronology and history of the puzzle

Here is another account of the history we did not use much

A website with more mathematical insights into Archimedes’ puzzle

Thanks to everyone who participated!

http://filecabinet.eschoolview.com/DDBF1D9C-0BA1-443D-BC91-088493C49FB7/SomaCube_GoogleDocs.pdf 

 

 

 

2017

A War of Codes: CLE vs. CBUS

On May 18th, The Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle held their fifth and final meeting of the school year at the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County. This was our fourth evening meeting during which dinner was provided to all participants, yet it was our FIRST virtual meeting with another MTC! The session was titled “A War of Codes: CLE vs. CBUS.” Chris Bolognese of the Columbus Math Teachers’ Circle led the two MTCs in an investigation of cryptography and a race to crack each other’s code. It was “virtually” the most fun that two warring opponents could have.

 
 Folding Up the Fun

On March 16th, The Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle held their fourth meeting of the school year at the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County. This was our third evening meeting of the school year, and dinner was provided to all participants. The session was entitled “Folding Up the Fun.” Steve Pelikan of the University of Cincinnati facilitated the session for our group of K-12 teachers and university faculty. He led us on an exploration of fractions, patterns, exponentials, and change of base activities. 

 
   

Enjoy some Golden Grahams - a Mathematical Treat

On Saturday, January 21st, The Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle held their third meeting of the school year at the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County. This was our first ever Saturday morning meeting, and a continental breakfast was provided to all participants. The session was entitled “Golden Grahams--a Mathematical Treat.” Nick Pilewski of Ohio University facilitated the session for our group of K-12 teachers and university faculty, leading us in two intriguing explorations about the Graham Sequence and the Golden Ratio. Sequences were made tangible with Zometools, a cool learning toy worth checking out.

   

Order in the Court

On November 17th, The Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle held its second meeting during the school year at the Cuyahoga Educational Service Center. A light dinner was provided in order to fuel our brains for the mathematical exploration that was to come! University faculty and K-12 teachers participated in the activities that were developed to show that math can be meaningful and fun at the same time. We participated in four activities: Gardner’s Puzzle by Paul Zachlin (Lakeland Community College), Krypto/24 Game, Does Order Really Matter? Find Flexibility in the Order of Operations by Sara Good, and It’s a Date! and Reverse Polish Notation by Lynn Aring.

   

Gettin’ Dicey

On September 15th, The Crooked River Math Teachers’ Circle held its first meeting during the school year at the Cuyahoga Educational Service Center. During the meeting, teachers were given the opportunity to collaborate and engage in meaningful mathematics while making connections to the mathematical practices. Participants and the MTC Leadership Team (Lynn Aring, Sara Good, Teresa Graham, Michelle Kocar, Kate Lane, Jennifer Ray, Paul Zachlin) explored a variety of mathematical tasks with dice. Paul Zachlin (Lakeland Community College) facilitated the game of Farkle and encouraged participants to develop mathematical questions. Kate Lane (Baldwin Wallace University) facilitated a variation of solitaire and “Dr. Lane’s Cool Dice Trick” in which participants rolled dice 40 times in order to look for a pattern. http://filecabinet.eschoolview.com/DDBF1D9C-0BA1-443D-BC91-088493C49FB7/September 15th flyer.docx 

    

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