Archive | Making Math Fun

Origins of the Coordinate Plane

One of the legends of math relates to the invention of the coordinate plane system. The legend states that Descartes was inspired to invent this system after watching a fly move around on the ceiling over his bed. This post tells the story and points out its relevance for modern math teachers.

New Approaches to Help Students Overcome Math Struggles

The teaching technique of finding out and helping students learn the “baby steps” that make up the larger math processes is having success through an organization called “Jump Math.” Read about it on this post.

How to factor out the GCF with stories

Real-life stories, related to algebraic procedures, can dramatically help students understanding both what the process is about, and how to do the process. Here I show how two real-life stories can help students master the steps required for factoring the GCF out of a polynomial.

Answer, Fun Math Problem

Here is the answer to an interesting problem: what provides a better fit, a square peg in a circular hole, or a circular peg in a square hole? We can use simple geometry to figure it out!

FUN MATH PROBLEM — Circling the Square & Vice-Versa

Circle the Square or square the circle. Either way, it’s a fun math problem. Feel free to try it, share it, use it however you wish.

How to tell if a Number is Divisible by 8

How to tell if 8 divides into a number. There is a simple test for this. This post explains this.

How to Use Definitions in Geometry

Definitions are TWICE as useful as standard theorems in geometric proofs. This post explains why, showing that definitions are, in a certain sense, very much like “reversible coats.”

How to See Why the Divisibility Trick for 3 Works

There’s a nifty trick for finding out if 3 divides evenly into a number. This little proof shows why the trick works.