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Making Squares

little problems with big solutions

Annie Perkins and Pamela J. Wells

To elicit creative student thinking, this open-ended problem asks solvers to measure as many squares as possible using a certain size of cardboard.

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Dana C. Cox and Jane-Jane Lo

Incorporate simple and complex figures, distortion and proportion, and visual reasoning into your discussion of similarity.

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Quick Reads: Problem Solving with Laser Precision

a good idea in a small package

Scott A. Goldthorp

A student-centered, inquiry-driven classroom explores the Pythagorean theorem.

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Matt B. Roscoe and Joe Zephyrs

Pull on the threads of congruence and similarity in a series of lessons that explores transformational geometry.

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Alessandra King

Students are given an activity in which they analyze the American flag, with an eye to its proportions. Solutions are online.

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Kate M. Degner

An activity explores how to estimate the height of trees. Activity sheets are included.

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Dana C. Cox and Michael Todd Edwards

How do middle school students interpret the phrase “two sizes too small”? Examining students' responses will re-form your thinking about teaching similarity and using nonstandard shapes.

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Sarah B. Bush, Karen S. Karp, Victoria Miller Bennett, Liz Popelka, and Jennifer Nadler

An interdisciplinary activity connects mathematics and art from The Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia.

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Brooke Becker

This activity allows students to build their own understanding of what it means to develop a solid argument.

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Priya V. Prasad

Knitting, like other traditional crafts such as quilting or weaving, is a highly mathematical activity. Knitters need to constantly coordinate different forms of measurement, including weight, length, and area. Knitting typically involves following a pattern. If you do not follow that pattern, you can find yourself dealing with some pretty complicated knot theory.