Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Math Munching today!

I introduced my Algebra 2 students to Math Munch today. We only had a few minutes, so I asked students to read just the October 10 post on Tsoro Yematatu, Fano’s Plane, and GIFs. Our school has a school-wide initiative for writing across the curriculum. Today I asked students to write about what they noticed, what intrigued them about that post in Edmodo. In addition to making their individual posts, I asked students to comment on at least 3 other classmates' posts.

The school-wide goal on writing is significant. In addition to that goal, I want students to experience math beyond our typical curriculum. I want students to talk about math with classmates. Using Edmodo allows students to use their social media skills.

This is only our first attempt. Here are a few responses I noticed today ...

EH said, "I found tsoro yematatu to be very interesting in the sense that it is essentially a more complex version of tic-tac-toe. While I have never played it, I did play Nine Men's Morris last year, which is very similar. Also, the Pass 'em On GIF caught my attention right away. Originally, I thought that if you followed one red dot, it would eventually make its way to the bottom of the screen. However, after studying it closely, I was able to determine that the dots rotate in a triangle-like formation. Therefore, a red dot at the top of the screen could never make it near the bottom of the screen."

AM reflected,"I found the Klein groups very fascinating, i had a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that the Klein bottle was only one sided. I have heard of the Klein bottle prior to reading this blog. The kleinian groups remind me of fractal art."

BC wrote, "While playing Tsoro Yematatu I found that most of the time there are only 0-2 possible moves to make. From the time all the tiles are on the board everything that happens seems pretty forced. This leads me to believe that most of the strategy is in the original placement of the tiles, not so much in how you move them. I found it interesting that a game of movement was more a game of placement." A classmate wrote back, "That is very cool discovery B-, I didn't even think to play the game and study the strategy. That shows very good perception/math skills."

EO posted, "In the post from last Thursday, I found it interesting how enjoyable geometry becomes when you apply to something you like. When you compare math to games like Pass 'Em On, you tend to wonder how games like that work and you begin to enjoy yourself. It's also interesting to understand the history of math and how it can originate in places as far away as Zimbabwe. Math can be found in all subjects, even history. I found this website very simple and interesting and I think math can be more enjoyable when you compare it to other aspects of learning."

There are many more posts ... these are just a few.  I am responding to as many as I can.  I'll repeat the lesson tomorrow with my B-Day students.  I'm hoping to build in a regular "chat" around Math Munch postings and eventually have students write more extensively about a topic of interest.


  1. This is fabulous, Beth. It sounds like your students really dug into the site and had engaging and thoughtful experiences. I hope sharing Math Munch goes well with your other classes and that it evolves into a classroom mainstay! Let us know if you could use any support or have any suggestions to make the site better for students.

    1. Thanks, Justin. I've been thrilled with my students' first attempts. I want to do more ... we'll see how it goes.

  2. Wow! Your students' responses are very well thought out and articulated. What grade level are they?

    1. Bethany - my students are in grades 9 and 10. They are mostly advanced students, some are in our gifted program. They are all taking Algebra 2 (Pre-AP/TAG).