You remember the Rubik’s Cube don’t you? That frustrating cube of colors that never seems to match up. I’ve got kids begging to solve that crazy thing if you can believe it! Our math teacher is sharing the algorithms with our students step by step and they are taking to the challenge!
I love this video showing how quickly some students are actually solving the cube. It’s rather mind-blowing.
If you are ready and willing, here are the instructions for solving the Rubik’s Cube with a very cool algorithm chart.
I’d like to spotlight a book titled, “Mathematicians are People Too.” It’s loaded with real stories about men and women who loved to figure things out. This always means using numbers. One of my favorite things about this book is the way that it brings history to life. The story about Thales, the pyramids and shadows is a perfect example of natural learning. With some curiosity and hard work, we can solve the tough questions.
A book for the middle ones is, “The Adventures of Penrose, the Mathematical Cat.” This one reminds me of a story textbook. It has been known to give kids that aha moment in understanding math concepts more clearly.
Now for a few more games that my class is having fun with:
Khet Laser Game (like chess with mirrors and lasers!)
Quick Cups (quick thinking, stacking game)
One final idea: I took aside my Seniors and gave them each a budget sheet. After 30 minutes and lots of questions, (such as, does it really cost that much to rent an apartment?) we realized that we weren’t quite prepared financially for the future. It was quite an eye-opening experience and one that should be had before the Senior year. Be that as it may, we had some great conversations over the next couple of days as we boldly faced our future plans. It brought a lot of maturity to the table and everyone left with greater knowledge and big goals! Now I want to give all of my high school students the same opportunity. I think it would work well for younger students as well. They better appreciate mom and dad when they realize how much money it takes to run a family!