Archive for the ‘Math’ Category

Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books

Monday, July 1st, 2019

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My teen homeschoolers had fun shooting their math books yesterday at the shooting range, culminating in exploding the math books to smithereens. My oldest son said the following quotes before being the first to shoot his math book:

  • “Pre-calculus took away one year of my life.”
  • “Pre-calculus is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
  • “Pre-calculus ruined my life.”

Even though the aforementioned teen got A’s on his pre-calculus, it took him an inordinate amount of time to finish his math each day, cutting into his free time. “Today is payback,” I said, looking in his direction. He grinned as he saw his math book fly up into the air while being shot.

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I do need to say that I have been pleased with the homeschooling math books that we’ve used, just in case you figure out what brand of book was exploded by my family. It’s a course that my kids did on the computer, with explanations for higher math that I would never have been able to teach myself, seeing as how I never took pre-calculus in school. My husband thought it would be a good idea to teach our kids to think, hence they were required to go all the way through pre-calculus before they graduated high school.

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Obviously my oldest son didn’t appreciate being taught to think in this way, hence his glee at seeing the utter destruction and annihilation of his math book, along with his brothers’ and sister’s math books, which were also demolished.

This was the destruction after the shooting and before the explosions:

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Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books (Video)

In this short 1-minute video, you will see the shooting and exploding of math books. We also show the book carnarge: first of the shooting, then of the explosions. Enjoy.

A good time was had by all. For those who have never heard of tennerite, it’s an explosive target that combines oxidizers and a fuel (aluminum powder) that are combined together and mixed right before setting up the target. The two components are stored separately until you are ready to use it. This is what we used for the explosions.

Here is a close-up photo of the utterly demolished homeschool math books after being shot and exploded.

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Hope you enjoyed joining us for the demolition of our math books!

How to Make Graham Cracker Dominoes

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

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Why not make these fun Graham cracker dominoes? You will need a box of Graham crackers, some peanut butter, and a bag of chocolate chips.

Begin by opening the package of Graham crackers and placing one on the table. Open the peanut butter and hand your kid a table knife to spread the peanut butter over the cracker. Then open a package of chocolate chips and pour them into a bowl. Your kids can decide how many chocolate chips to place in each square of the cracker.

This activity is great for toddlers and preschoolers because you can teach them about numbers and counting. You can play a game of dominoes as they munch on their math snack. Plus, it tastes really great!

If you don’t mind making a mess, you can have your kids play a HUGE game of dominoes, using a whole package Graham cracker dominoes! Match the numbers together, and take turns until all the Graham crackers have been used up.

To find more hands-on math activities and games, here is my most popular math post:

Clock Cake

Friday, October 28th, 2016

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If you have a friend who loves math, or someone who is constantly late and you want to give them a hint to start being on time, then you can bake this fabulous clock cake.

To make this super cute cake, you will need two round cake pans. I used one cake mix box. You can bake whatever flavor you want. When the cake is cool, place the cake on a plate, cover it with cellophane, and put it in the fridge. A cake is always easier to frost when it has been in the refrigerator.

Frost the cake with white frosting. If you want to be fancy, you can put strawberry jam in between the two layers. Then grab some Hershey’s kisses, turn them upside-down, and use one for the center of the clock. Place one on the top, one on the bottom, one on the right, and one on the left. Then place two Hershey’s kisses equidistantly between the others, so that you have twelve kisses going around the clock where the numbers should be.

Grab some Fruit by the Foot or other Fruit Roll-up-type candy. Cut out the arrow hands with scissors and place them on the cake. Then put a “ribbon” of Fruit by the Foot around the entire cake to give it a polished look. Now your clock cake is complete. Enjoy!

LEGO Algebra: Learning Algebraic Formulas

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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I’ve seen arithmetic done with LEGOs for lower-level elementary math, taking individual LEGO pieces and adding them up, making graphs, and learning about fractions. But LEGO algebra is something I’ve never seen–not until my son Stephen decided that it was possible to write out algebraic equations with white LEGOs on a green base. It’s particularly helpful to write out these algebraic equations to memorize formulas because the tactile component of feeling the LEGOs with your fingers can cause your kinesthetic learners to internalize the formulas more quickly.

The act of building the equations you want to memorize will help you internalize them. My son Stephen has written an explanation for the algebraic equations that he built out of LEGOs:

  • In the picture on the left, you have a couple of algebraic systems–each of which is two equations which are related to each other in some way. The system on the top can be solved with the subtraction method by first multiplying both sides of the top equation by 3 and both sides of the bottom one by 2, then subtracting the two equations to remove x and solve for y. (The answer happens to be 2.) We can put the answer for y in one of the equations; let’s do 3x+5y=16, making 3x+5(2)=16. After solving, the answer to system 1 is x=2, y=2.
  • The system on the bottom can be solved by substitution with the knowledge that y is equal to the expression x-9. With that information, we can substitute the y in the second equation with x-9, and so solve for x. (The answer is 9.) Then we do the same as we did with system 1 and solve for y (y=x-9    y=9-9    y=0). So the answer is x=9 y=0.
  • The picture on the right is three equations which represent various graph shapes. The top one is the equation for a parabola, the middle one is the equation for a circle, and the bottom one is the equation for an ellipse. The yellow dots represent that number or variable raised to the second power (or squared).

Hopefully these explanations can help your high school student understand algebra in a tactile way so that your student is less likely to forget the algebraic formulas. Who knew that LEGO algebra would be possible? My son found a way!

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