Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Deal! - $15 Dollars Off

image courtesy of google images
For all of you deal shoppers, looking for a GREAT gift for the kids in your life, take $ 15 off each kit you purchase by entering the code PROMO10 when you check out.

Here are some math idea for you to use with your kids when you are out shoping this weekend:
  • Ask your kids caluculate the change you should recieve when paying
  • Ask your kids to estimate what the total will be for your purchase
  • Calculate the % off into  real dollars, determine what the final cost will be
  • Ask your kids to calcualte what the sales tax on an item will be, the ask what will the total cost of the item + tax be.

Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for our customers, friends and fans!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 

- Melodie Beatty

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Thanksgiving for TEACHERS!!! You are so good to us, let us return the favor!

Did you know a teacher spends, on average, $1000 of his or her own money on supplies to be used in their classrooms to support their student's learning? is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to
help students in need. grew out of a Bronx high school where teachers experienced first-hand the scarcity of learning materials in our public schools.

Charles Best, then a social studies teacher, sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations. He created in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need.

  • Our mission is to improve public education by empowering every teacher to be a change-maker and enabling any citizen to be a philanthropist.
  • Our vision is a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn

At, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. Check it out and make a teacher's dream for her students a reality!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Forgot....

image courtesy of google images

If you haven’t seen the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve before then you really must look at it now! 

It doesn’t tell parents or teachers anything new or surprising, but does answer the question we all ask ourselves “why can’t the kids remember what they learned last week, where their shoes are, what thier zip code is, etc?”

Research tells us that revisiting concepts is the key to long-term memory rentention. 

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

The speed of forgetting depends on a number of factors such as the difficulty of the learned material (e.g. how meaningful it is), its representation and physiological factors such as stress and sleep. The difference in performance (e.g. at school) can be explained by mnemonic representation skills.

Basic training in mnemonic techniques can help overcome those differences in part. 

Each repetition in learning increases the optimum interval before the next repetition is needed (for near-perfect retention, initially repetitions may need to be made within days, but later they can be made after years).

So I repeat: Repeat, repeat and repeat again!  Eventually it WILL Stick!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teachers who made a difference-THANK YOU TEACHERS!

These are stories about passionate teachers who awakened a spark in their students.  What an incredible gift to give a young person!

Here is a link to the October npr story about Marin Alsop and the teachers who made a difference in her life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The beautiful math of coral

Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.

Link to TED video

Parents!! Come One, Come All!

Tonight we kicked off a series of parent meetings in Bristol, PA!!  

photo courtesy of

We meet with the parents of 2nd and 3rd grade children.  We discussed how they can encourage mathematical thinking in everyday life, how to develop good number sense, how to analyze data, and how to use the manipulatives with the MathShapes:go figure program.  Our goal is to deepen mathematical understanding for the parents and their children.  

Stay Tuesday we do the same for parents of grades 4 and 5 students.  

And... the following Tuesday we work with 1st grade parents to help them shape the math experience for their pre-school and firrst grade children and how to begin to work with math concepts.

We hope all you parents who attended felt as though the session was helpful!  You were a fantastic audience and asked GREAT QUESTIONS.

Please spread the word about MathShapes: Go Figure!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Math is like baseball, but there is no need to fear the beard!!

image courtesy of

Tonight the Rangers play the Giants at 7:30 PM EST--Who will you be cheering for?

I am reminded of the the very first post we did here at Go Figure last year:

Math Is Like Baseball!

If you want to hit a home run in education you have to round first base(student), second base(parent) and , third base (teacher). If you do not touch every base, you are the same as a stranded runner - you don't score.
Some math ideas to think about as you watch the game tonight:

A Problem:

Johnny plays shortstop for the Giants in the 11-12 year old division. Midway through the 20 game season, he is batting .333 in 30 at-bats. Johnny thinks he can make the All-Star team if he ends the season hitting .400 or better. How many hits does Johnny need in the remaining 10 games to make All-Stars assuming he gets 3 at-bats per game? What will his average be over the last 10 games of the season?

A few cool sites:
Baseball Statistics - Here's a lesson for middle schoolers from the NCTM Illuminations site that will familiarize students with both baseball and statistics. Teachers may want to add their own creative touches to this one

San Franciso Baseball & Math - Grades 4-8 - This site asks users to solve math problems by scouring the San Francisco Giants' web site for prices, statistics, and other information. A good baseball web quest and math lesson.

Baseball Word Scramble - A simple word scramble that you can print