Math teachers are always looking for rich math problems to use in class. I met a gentleman, Dr. Gordon Hamilton, this week at the 85th Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention, who is happy to do the legwork for us. He is a passionate mathematician from Calgary, Alberta, who wants to share great math problems with educators. He finds and prepares rich mathematical challenges that teachers can use with students from kindergarten to grade 12. To make his work accessible to teachers around the world he has created his own website called mathpickle.com and it is designed for teachers.
You’ll find math activities divided into five categories: K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12. For each section Gordon has created a video describing the challenge and ideas of how to implement the task with students. I am very thankful that he has created these videos because I’m not sure I could complete these tasks on my own without some of his hints! You could present the problems yourself or show parts of the videos with his narration if you like. He also includes pdf files for hand-outs pertaining to the tasks.
An intriguing part of his site showcases 13 unsolved math problems. He suggests one for each grade from Kindergarten to grade 12. Make sure to watch the video where he explains why teachers would want to use these problems with students.
Gordon mentioned that if you are looking for a math challenge for a specific topic or grade level you can contact him directly and he’d be happy to help. He also offers school support if you are near the Calgary area. I think it would be very exciting to hire him as a “mathematician in residence” for a week just as many schools do with artists and musicians.
Gordon has just begun sharing this work and I want to help him get the word out. I am very excited about the possibilities for our math colleagues and all the students who will get the chance to feel mathematically powerful! Spread the word 🙂