Hello <<First Name>>,

Spring is here, and this homeschooling family is eager to get outdoors. Sometimes we take the school books out and read on a picnic blanket. Or we may just call an impromptu vacation day. How does your family enjoy the spring?

It's a great time of year to do math outdoors, too. I think I've found some yummy math activities to share. I hope you and your children enjoy them.

Best wishes!

Math Snack: Math Treks

Playful, no-preparation math activities for all ages

Created by Maria Droujkova, a Math Trek is a "virtual reality" game, played at the intersection between the real world and your imagination. Participants explore their towns and communities, start noticing mathematics everywhere, and grow their math eyes.

Math Treks are like scavenger hunts for math. Gather a group of friends, choose a topic, and go for a walk to see how much math you can find. Take pictures to share and compare. My math club families have enjoyed a Multiplication Trek (looking for things in groups and arrays) around our local library and a Symmetry Trek through the woods.

If you have time for a little preparation, Maria posted several Math Trek game sheets you can download and print. Here are a few of my favorites:

If you try a Math Trek this spring, I'd love to hear how it goes.

April 2015 Math Calendar

My students were middle school and beyond, but you can make a math calendar with puzzles for any age or skill level. Better yet, encourage the kids to make puzzles of their own.

Read all the details and download the pdf calendar at Let's Play Math blog.

More Tasty Tidbits

A few of my favorite outdoor math activities

Rebecca uses found materials to build on children's natural ideas of symmetry and shape: Making Mandala Art with Kids.

April is a great time for Juliet Robertson's Rainy Day Rubbings – Exploring Pattern Outside. And I love her playful approach to Stick Logic

Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards).

Kate puts an outdoor twist on the "How Crazy Can You Make It?" challenge with sidewalk chalk: Maths Outdoors.

Rodi Steinig and friends use sidewalk chalk to think their way into a topology puzzle in Chromatic Number, 2, Acting It Out.

From my blog archives: Algebra students can collect pebbles or other small items to explore the growth of Figurate Numbers. Or try their hands at a tricky strategy game, Avoid Three.

Have fun at the math carnival

Rectangles, fractions, prime factorization, dancing, puzzles, great books, and so much more --- check out all the fun at the March math education blog carnival:

Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) Blog Carnival #84

Book and Blog Updates

A quick peek at what I'm working on

My number games books are almost done, but there's still a lot of work to finish up. I'm always surprised by how much goes into a book after the writing itself is done: edits, tweaks and corrections, page design, graphics, links, still more corrections, appendixes, indexing (maybe), cover design, and metadata like ISBN, bookstore categories, Library of Congress numbers, copyright, etc. I expect to get back the final edits this week, and I've already made a tentative page layout. The front covers are pretty much done, but I haven't even started on the backs. After incorporating the editor's changes and a few suggestions from my beta readers, I hope to start final formatting by the middle of the month.

Watch for sample games to show up on my blog over the next few weeks.

And keep an eye on your email inbox. Whenever I get the ebook ready to go—by late April, I hope—I'll send you the link to a special newsletter-subscribers-only introductory sale.

Meanwhile, Pi Day took over my blog last month. I got lost in the videos at the Numberphile website and posted a few of my favorites. Pi Day is past (until next year), but pi itself is eternal, so you can enjoy these whenever you want:

Finally, for those of you who also signed up for the homeschool writing updates from my daughter: she's almost finished editing book two of The Riddled Stone series. I've been nagging her to send out a newsletter, but it looks like I may have to make that a school assignment for additional motivation...

And that's all I have for now. I hope you found something interesting or useful. See you next month!
—Denise Gaskins
Copyright © 2015 Tabletop Academy Press, All rights reserved.

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