The 153rd Playful Math Education Blog Carnival!

Welcome to the 153rd Playful Math Education Carnival! Thanks to those who blogged and/or tweeted about math, we have another fun-filled carnival this month. Since a picture is worth 1000 words, and tweets usually have lovely pictures and captions included with them, I’ve embedded a lot of tweets in this carnival. Many of the tweets include links to blog posts. You can be transported directly to any area of the carnival you desire by clicking one of the following links:

Ukraine and Math

I have been very upset about the recent events in Ukraine and wondered how I could possibly publish a cheery, playful carnival at this time.

I decided to publish the carnival but include a couple of blog posts that link math and Ukraine.

This first post is a poem about the current situation: Evil Adds Up.

The second post is about Voroinoi Diagrams and Ukrainian mathematician, Georgii Voronoi. I am glad to know a little bit about Goergii Voronoi now after reading that post.

A Fishing Pond

You can learn some fun math facts by reading blogs. A few years ago I read a post on the Math Online Tom Circle blog that made the number 153 unforgettable for me. 153 is known as the St. Peter Fish Number.

Now fishing pond booths are often a part of a traditional carnival so this 153rd edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival just has to have one, too. Its fishing booth has 153 fish in it representing the 153 fish Simon Peter caught in John 21: 9-14.

I made the fish tessellate because tessellation is a cool mathematical concept. The fish form a triangle because 153 is a triangular number. I colored the fish to show that
153 = 5! + 4! + 3! + 2! + 1! I like that 5! is also a triangular number so I put it at the top of the triangle, but 1! and 3! are triangular numbers, too. Can you use addition on the graphic to show that 153 = 1³+5³+3³?

A Little Magic:

That same Tom Circle blog post also revealed the magician’s secret behind a potential math magic trick:
Pick a number, ANY number. Multiply it by 3. Then find the sum of the cubes of its digits. Find the sum of the cubes of the digits of that new number. I might have you repeat that last step a few times. I predict your final number is. . .

No matter what number you choose, I can accurately predict what your final number will be. If you open the sealed envelope in my hand, you will see that I did indeed predict your final number, 153.

Pat’s Blog teaches about another magical number property in Squares That Parrot Their Roots.

Creative Learning AfrikA+ writes about the secret of performing well on tests in It’s not Math Magic, It’s Consistency.

The Enchanted Tweeting Room

Speaking of the number 153, Jo Morgan recently published her 153rd Mathsgem post with many ideas from the Twitterverse:

In her 95th Monday Must-Reads blog post, Sara Carter shared some great ideas she saw on Twitter: a math word wall, some Desmos Gingerbread Houses, a Find-the-Imposter Spiderman Surds activity, A Polynomial Two Truths and a Lie game, and much more.

Math Art

Leonardo DeVinci and many other famous artists were also famous for their mathematics. Mathematics used to be considered a liberal art. Denise Gaskins encourages us to bring back the joy of learning math in part one of Rediscover the Liberal Art of Mathematics.

RobertLovesPi uses enneagrams, regular hexagons, and other polygons to make a lovely artistic design. He also creates a shimmering 3-D shape in A Faceted Rhombicosidocecahedron with 540 Faces.

Paula Beardell Krieg wrote about the experience of directly teaching paper folding and indirectly teaching mathematics over zoom for six weeks in A Lovely Experiment.

We can use Desmos to create stunning artwork:

Math Games

Every week Denise Gaskins shares a new game on her blog post Math Game Monday.

Julie Naturally shares some Awesome Free Math Games for Kindergartners, no electronics required.

Children at St Margaret’s Lee Church of England Primary School have been playing a domino game called the Mexican Train game. They like it so much that they’ve expressed the desire to play it at home with their families.

How much do children enjoy playing mathy board games? Just read this post by Jenorr73 of One Good Thing: Math Game Joy.

Ben Orlin of Math with Bad Drawings wrote about one of my favorite games, SET, in A Theory of Trios.

Claire Kreuz of NBC’s blog reports that a 14-year-old High School student has developed a math game everyone can play even those with special needs.


Colleen Young blogs about a new publication by Jonny Griffiths in A-Level Starters.

This puzzle is my contribution to the carnival:

Here are some puzzles I found on Twitter:

Sarah Carter regularly shares puzzles that help us play with math:


Children’s Literature

You will want to read the responses to this next tweet. MANY biographies of mathematicians are mentioned:

Mathematical Poetry

What’s a Fib? It’s a poetry style beautifully explained by the Kitty Cats blog.

Molly Hogan of Nix the Comfort Zone wrote thoughtful poems about the Number Zero and How Many Snowflakes Were Seen out her window.

Catherine Flynn of Reading to the Core taught me about the Fibonacci style of writing poems in Poetry Fridays: Fractals, Fibonacci, and Beyond.

Count the syllables in Heidi Mordhorst of My Juicy Little Universe’s poem Jealousy and you will have counted down from nine to one.

MaryLee Hahn of A(another) Year of Reading makes us ponder our footprint in The Mathematics of Consumerism.

Number Sense

The Year One Class had a wonderful time playing with numbers as they put the numbers from 0 to 50 in their proper places on a number line and talked about number patterns.

Norah Colvin (Live, Laugh, Learn . . . Create the Possibilities blog) used easily stackable pancakes to help students have a better sense of how much 1000 is.

In Important ideas about addition, Tad Watanabe reminds us that children don’t necessarily understand concepts such as 30 being three tens. Students sometimes erroneously think of multi-digit numbers as “simply a collection of single-digit numbers that are somehow glued together.” He talks about what to do about these and a few other issues students face learning mathematics.

Jenna Laib of Embrace the Challenge observed that one of her students was having difficulty understanding negative numbers. Read what happened when she played a Tiny Number Game with her.

Multiplication and Factoring



Look at the pictures. You can tell that Mrs. Bracken’s class enjoyed exploring and discussing ways to display four squares and their reflections.

Check out Pat’s Blog So You Thought You Knew Everything About Equilateral Triangles.

Math History Museum

Health and First Aid Station

Math Anxiety can be a real health issue:

Math Teachers can experience a different type of Math Anxiety:

The Math Teacher Experience

What if a math lesson is fun but the concepts won’t be a major part of the end-of-year test? Pay attention to Melissa D of the Dean of Math blog post, It’s a fun unit, but it’s not really necessary.

Anna of shares how her school year has gone so far.

Robert Talbert discusses going from a grading-to-upgrading in an upper-level math course.

Football and Math

In Inequalities on the Gridiron, Dick Lipton and Ken Regan talk about why the Buffalo Bills weren’t in the Superbowl and whether or not the c in the inequality
a² – b² = c is positive or negative.

Check out Eric Eager’s article: Football’s lessons about mathematics, academia, and industry.

The Quillette has an interesting, although possibly controversial read: It’s Time to Start Treating High School Math Like Football.

If a math student, football player, or anyone else feels like a zero, they could benefit from Fran Carona inspiring You Are Not a Zero about Cooper Kupp, the Super Bowl MVP.


Stanleyavestaff room 6 students enjoyed the lollipop statistics assignment so much fun that they didn’t even know they were doing math.

Joseph Nebus of Another Blog, Meanwhile made a humorous pie chart in Statistics Saturday: My Schedule for Doing Things. Many students and even adults can probably relate to it.

Calculus and Higher Math

Joseph Nebus of Nebusresearch has been reading a biography of Pierre-Simon LaPlace, so naturally, he blogs about monkeys, typewriters, and William Shakespeare in Some Progress on the Infinitude of Monkeys.

Math Wordle

Wordle has recently taken the world by storm. Got some math vocabulary words for your students? No matter how long the words are, your students can try to guess such words when they’re presented as wordles that you’ve made with the help of I made the one below. I told my son it was a math term and asked him to solve it:

There are also numerous wordles based on numbers rather than letters:

Stand-up Comedy Show

Archon’s Den shared some clever Math One-liners that will make you and your students either roll on the floor with laughter or roll your eyes.

Other Carnivals

The 201st edition of the Carnival of Mathematics can be found at the team at Ganit Charcha.

Last month the 152nd Playful Math Carnival was hosted by Denise Gaskins. Perhaps you would like to host the next carnival or one later in the year. We need more volunteers! To volunteer to host the carnival go to Denise Gaskins’ Carnival Volunteer Page.

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