12. Space Race

On Friday, we shared Play 12. Space Race with our students. Here is a sketch of how this problem developed. 1. Find a fun problem. We met Ben over the summer at a BU discussion workshop, showed him some of our Play problems, and talked about our approach to the project. Later, Ben sent us a problem that … Continue reading 12. Space Race

Video Game Design

Recently, Daniel Schneider posted this video of video game designer Edmund McMillen. In the video, McMillen talks through a few levels of a game, illustrating some of the design decisions that make the game intuitive, engaging, and challenging. I loved this video. I immediately watched it a second and a third time, thinking about the parallels … Continue reading Video Game Design


On the first day of school, I gave my students notecards with their table number. On that card, I asked for their name, 2 examples of everyday problems, and 2 examples of everyday creativity. I gave minimal guidance about what an "everyday problem" or "everyday creativity" is. I took the results and turned them into … Continue reading Everyday

This Year, I’m Excited to Try …

1. Dan Meyer's 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... strategy to earn students' attention Getting students' attention in order to transition from group/individual work to whole-class discussion is a classroom management problem that's been bugging me for two years. I've seen and rejected several solutions to this problem because I didn't think I could pull them off; I fear … Continue reading This Year, I’m Excited to Try …

5. Maximaze

Source: Math Arguments 180 – Day 24: Arithmetic Challenge We tried this problem a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it. We created our own maze, took the operation-number pairs from the original version (Copyright(c) 2003 Ryosuke Ito), added a few extra pairs to fit our larger maze, randomized the operation-number pairs, and started brainstorming strategies. … Continue reading 5. Maximaze