A while back John Golden wrote about a game he made up called Decimal Point Pickle. Something about pickles seems to attract math folks. Gordon Hamilton has created a web site called Math Pickle, on which he's posted a slew of wonderful videos of his work with kids, playing with math.
He was the guest host tonight of the Math 2.0 Webinar (a series Maria Droujkova founded and organizes), and showed us half a dozen delightful puzzles and games. For the first half hour, he showed us open mathematical problems that he uses with kids. The first one was called No-3-In-a-Line. Can you put 8 skyscrapers on a 4x4 grid so no 3 are in a line? (The open mathematical problem is finding the largest nxn grid that can have 2n cells filled with no 3 in a line.)
The second open problem he showed us was first posed in 1916 by Issai Schur. Here's his video of kids working on it.
Next he showed us an elegant game he created, called Mimizu (Japanese for earthworm). (Watch this video, at 1:15 in.)
I mentioned my collection of easy to understand open problems, and how much kids like the problem that is alternatively called Hailstone numbers or the Collatz Conjecture. He's worked with that, and jazzed it up with the Deadalus and Icarus story. Lovely additions! (And there's a pdf on the site to help you use it with kids.)
Thank you, Gord!
There was lots more - check out the recording. And check out his site!
I'll be using lots of these fun activities in my next math salon. (Coming up soon. 10 days until Saturday, May 7. Interested? Local to Richmond, California? Email me at suevanhattum on the warmer mail system.)