This post contains information related to my presentation, *Snail Power*, at the NWAIS Fall Educators Conference on October 12, 2018.

*Snail Power* is a prealgebra mathematics lesson about proportional reasoning and making mathematical comparisons. In the lesson, students collect data about the pulling strength of a land snail by (humanely) connecting it to a pulling harness. We then compare the strength data for the various snails, and discover how much we humans could pull if we were, relatively speaking, as strong as a snail.

In all fairness, there's a lot of overhead to this lesson. Working with live animals -- and caring for them in the "off season" -- requires ongoing attention that will make this lesson prohibitive for most teachers. Plus, there are probably hundreds of activities that could teach the same mathematical content.

*However*... I have never taught a lesson that brings more delight and energy to my classroom. This lesson is a show-stopper that students will remember and talk about for years!

Here's a link to a shared folder that contains both the conference presentation slides and the student-facing presentation.

For those who would like to learn more about keeping snails as classroom pets, I recommend the websites www.petsnails.co.uk and www.molluscs.at.

]]>In all fairness, there's a lot of overhead to this lesson. Working with live animals -- and caring for them in the "off season" -- requires ongoing attention that will make this lesson prohibitive for most teachers. Plus, there are probably hundreds of activities that could teach the same mathematical content.

Here's a link to a shared folder that contains both the conference presentation slides and the student-facing presentation.

For those who would like to learn more about keeping snails as classroom pets, I recommend the websites www.petsnails.co.uk and www.molluscs.at.

I'm not much of a blogger, and so I have pretty much ignored this part of my website since I created it in 2015. I'm hoping to change that this year.

When I put this website together, I saw it as a place for me to organize and share work I've done merging two of my favorite things: mathematics and storytelling. My recent motivation to become more visible online stems from my desire to share a particular project that I'm really excited about. Creating it has been a labor of love over the past few years and, dear reader, I hope you'll check it out.

*The Arithmetiquities* is a collection of thirty-six "problem of the week" activities, with a focus on pre-algebra mathematics. Each problem in the collection is one chapter in an ongoing narrative set in a quirky, Tolkien-esque fantasy world. The full tale of our heroes unfolds problem-by-problem over the course of a school year.

My plan is to release the chapters four-at-a-time, on the first (or so) of the month. I also have a solutions manual available for teachers who would like it; please send me a note! The first four chapters of the adventure -- in which we begin to meet our cast of heroes -- are ready to browse on the website, www.arithmetiquities.org.

I couldn't have gotten to this place without help. Some of the problems in the collection are original, some are "re-skinned" versions of problems that have appeared elsewhere. Plus, each chapter has been illustrated by the immensely talented Robot Arms, who also did the character artwork. I offer my thanks to all the giants on whose shoulders I am standing.

]]>When I put this website together, I saw it as a place for me to organize and share work I've done merging two of my favorite things: mathematics and storytelling. My recent motivation to become more visible online stems from my desire to share a particular project that I'm really excited about. Creating it has been a labor of love over the past few years and, dear reader, I hope you'll check it out.

My plan is to release the chapters four-at-a-time, on the first (or so) of the month. I also have a solutions manual available for teachers who would like it; please send me a note! The first four chapters of the adventure -- in which we begin to meet our cast of heroes -- are ready to browse on the website, www.arithmetiquities.org.

I couldn't have gotten to this place without help. Some of the problems in the collection are original, some are "re-skinned" versions of problems that have appeared elsewhere. Plus, each chapter has been illustrated by the immensely talented Robot Arms, who also did the character artwork. I offer my thanks to all the giants on whose shoulders I am standing.

One of my advisees created a selfie station outside my door, where you could take your picture with a hug-starved cactus. Or not.

The World's Strongest Snail competition. There were a lot of pictures from this day, here's a good one!

At the start of our 3D geometry unit, seventh graders used Polydrons to find all the possible ways to arrange six squares into a flat pattern (called a net) that would fold up into a cube.

Again on the search for all possible ways to accomplish some task! This time, students were tasked with finding all the ways to arrange 24 unit cubes into a rectangular prism, and then to find the surface area of each prism. One of our goals was to make a conjecture regarding the the prism that would have the smallest surface area given any number of unit cubes.

]]>Which of these gifts would be your favorite? The juggling oranges, the wind-up zombie, or the purple unicorn clock that was part of the White Elephant exchange? ]]>

Beetle races in algebra! We let loose some mealworm beetles and traced their path (rocked out in 5-second intervals). Fun! Next time we will analyze the data and make some distance-time graphs.

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