5-8, 6-12, Art, Careers, Computer Science, Education, Math, Teaching Tools, Websites


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Mathigon is a website that explores and displays the true beauty of mathematics. The site is relatively new, and still has some parts that are under construction.  However, there are plenty of features that are ready to use right now.

Mathigon includes an e-book called World of Mathematics that can also be downloaded as a Chrome app. It is full of wonderful information, activities, and animations.

Along with its e-book, Mathigon currently provides 6 other slideshows and activities, with 3 more that are “under development.”  My favorite two of the completed projects are, “Alice in FractalLand” and “Maths Treasure Hunt.”  The second one offers resources for teachers and wonderful graphic printables to engage upper elementary and/or secondary students.

“Alice in FractalLand” is a delightful slide show that uses footage from the Disney film and integrates some of what I term “Masterpieces of Mathematics.”  The Fibonacci sequence, Pascal’s triangle, and fractals are all included in this digital adventure.  (If you would like some other resources for these topics, here are some links to posts I have done in the past: Fibonacci, Mensa for Kids, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Nature By Numbers.  You also might be interested in this Rainbow Loom Fibonacci link that I recently got from the fabulous TechChef4U.)

Got a student fascinated with origami?  Try Mathigon’sMathematical Origami” link. (You can click on the “i” underneath each picture for folding instructions.)

Or perhaps you want to show the applications of mathematics in various careers, including sports?  Try Mathigon’s “Panorama” tool.

For anyone who has a passion for math – or even shows potential for a passion for math – Mathigon is a site that will be welcomed and enjoyed.


3-12, Critical Thinking, Education, Math, Problem Solving, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

The Twelve Days of Christmas


First of all, I would like it on the record that I despise “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song.  Repetition makes me snore.  I do like the Straight No Chaser version, though…

Anyway, I am sorry to post this so late, but I just devised this lesson yesterday.  Maybe you can file it away to use next year.

My 4th grade gifted students are studying mathematical masterpieces.  We had looked at the Fibonacci series earlier this year, and a couple of days ago, I stumbled across an interesting lesson that ties Pascal’s Triangle in with “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  We spent half our day: creating the triangle, finding patterns in the triangle, finding Fibonacci in the triangle, trying to make sense of a Vi Hart video about the triangle, and using the triangle to figure out how many gifts were actually bought each day.

Then, I lucked upon this awesome website that has a fabulous interactive which tells the current going rate of each gift in the song.  You know a site is good when the kids are begging you for the URL and writing it down so they can access it as soon as they get home.  It’s really fun to use if you have an Interactive White Board.  Although this does not tie in directly with Pascal’s Triangle, you can use this nifty recording sheet to figure out the actual total cost of all of the gifts for the year 2012.  I had my students estimate the cost of each gift before we looked at the web site.  They were pretty close to the totals for buying each gift once – but had a hard time conceiving the cost of buying the gifts multiple times (like 12 partridges in pear trees).

You may not have a chance in the next couple of days to use every resource that I’ve linked here, but I highly recommend you visit PNC’s Christmas Price Index Gift Hunt.  You may be surprised at the cost of 8 maids milking!