An Activity Index

OfactoryOccupy Math looks at many different situations where mathematics (or the lack of mathematics) are important to people. One of our many threads is activities and information for teachers and parents. This post provides an index to these activity posts and then an index to some of the informational posts that might give helpful background. One thing to keep in mind — if there is a type of activity you might like to see, let Occupy Math know (e-mail

The activity posts


  1. Tiling a Wall is a math activity for younger children. Occupy Math has used this in several different “Math Nights”.
  2. The post It All Adds Up! gives an infinite family of math puzzles and directions for how to construct your own. These are puzzles that test addition and multiplication skills.
  3. The Riddle of the Sphinx gives a nice class of puzzles that help students with factoring.
  4. The first official activity post was Coloring Book Math. This is an activity that introduces an interesting class of shapes and gets students ready for map coloring.
  5. The post on Problem Factories introduces a type of puzzle — concerning measurement with limited tools — and discusses a type of problem creation strategy.
  6. The Sports Day in Math Class post explains a quiz game that Occupy Math has used for instruction in his own classes.
  7. The post on Euler’s Map Theorem gives a pretty simple activity that feels like a magic trick and introduces parts of graph theory.
  8. The Can You Draw This? post shows how to tell if you can draw something without lifting your pencil.
  9. The The Trick in the Trick Question post contains a really hard polyomino puzzle — and a really long explanation of how the solution works.
  10. The closed curves activity is another coloring book and the images are available as a clip-art pack.
  11. The basic programming activity post is a mathematical puzzle that introduces some basic concepts from computer science.
  12. The Bouquet Puzzles activities prepares students to solve simultaneous equations and develop skills related to linear algebra.
  13. Can you add it up? is a post that lets you design a whole pile of simple arithmetic puzzles, finding numbers as sums of consecutive terms.

The informational posts


  1. Prime Numbers are important for teaching fractions. They also don’t get mentioned in some official materials on teaching fractions.
  2. Occupy Math has a post on not psyching yourself out in math. You may be much better at math than you are letting yourself be!
  3. Cookies or calculus looks at the odd decision to make calculus the default type of advanced math.
  4. The post on type errors raises an important and sometimes neglected issue that helps you do math problems correctly.
  5. Busywork not required discusses the problem of confusing math with endless calculation. Fairly often, thought can let you step around the calculations.
  6. The post on developing your number sense discusses what a number sense even is. This term is used (without explanation) a lot in educational writings.
  7. The post on impossible problems discusses the role of impossible problems in education.
  8. The post on fair tests is mostly a set of negative examples of test questions.
  9. It turns out there is more than one type of infinity. Oh, wow.
  10. The post on Florence Nightingale documents the lady’s substantial contributions to health statistics.
  11. The post on saving mice introduced the remarkable Fano plane.
  12. The post on doctors needlessly terrifying patients discusses how doctors’ inability to use simply probability causes problems for their patients.
  13. Occupy Math has written a calculus book.

There are quite a lot of other posts on Occupy Math. If you want an index of some other type of post, let Occupy Math know — but also remember that we have categories on Occupy Math as well. If you want to see all the fractals, for example, select “Pretty Pictures”. There are also some puzzles and games that might be useful on our sister blog, Dan and Andrew’s Game Place

The world is becoming a different place pretty quickly now. Occupy Math started this blog to provide resources and perspective on the idea that math is useful and a lot less scary than many people think. If you can deal with math, it is easier to make good choices. Math gives you the power to, well, do the math and make your choices based on available information and logic. Got some perspective on all this? Please comment or tweet!

I hope to see you here again,
Daniel Ashlock,
University of Guelph,
Department of Mathematics and Statistics


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