#Pigpen Code

Today got off to a “mysterious” start. A cipher was presented to students with the challenge of decoding it. The inspiration came from long-distance friend and teaching colleague Andrew Kauffman from Goshen, Indiana.

After collaborating with teammates, students were able to make sense of the “Pigpen code” cipher. Upon solving the cipher, we Tweeted an image and a challenge to Mr. Kauffman’s class to solve our own cipher. This is Mr. Kauffman’s class reply. Can you solve the code? Parents, get ready to critically think with your child and have some fun! 🙂


Pentomino Mania

Sorry, parents. Your kids are hooked on pentominoes.

What are these? Oh…THEY ARE FUN! A pentomino is a 5 square inch geometric figure that comes in a set of 12. They’re used by mathematicians (and teachers) to teach things like perimeter, area, spatial thinking, problem solving, flips, slides, rotations, mirrors, and other geometric concepts.

Also, they’re not fattening, cause zero calories, and are quite entertaining. 🙂

I have ordered 18 sets of pentominoes from Amazon. We got lucky and found an extra set in the package, so we have 19 sets. I’ve offered to sell these to students. We did the math today in class, dividing the total price $48.57 by 19 sets-first using a bar model to estimate-and then using a calculator to get an exact cost of $2.556 per set. Rounding the hundredths place…it’s $2.56 a set. I offered to sell them at $2.50  set to avoid the $0.06 headache rather than round the price up to $3.00 per set. Also we agreed as a class a teacher profiting off pentomino sales didn’t seem okay. A $0.06 loss per set isn’t hard to handle. 🙂

Please send students in with exact change: $2.50 per set. 🙂

If more than 19 students want to buy pentominoes, I’ll gladly order more. IF…if…your child would like to purchase a 3-D set of pentominoes, they are available online from Amazon for $12.97. Click HERE to see the 3-D set. I have one of these in class, and I can vouch that they are REALLY fun to work with. I’ll let you order the 3-D versions, okay?

Want to see pentominoes in action? Check out the animation below!

Meet a Hero

We’re going to use the text rendering protocol today on a short, news story. It’s about a person who recently passed away. I feel Rev. Gilmore deserves to be called a hero-a term that we should discuss in class and define as a group.

We’ll read the story in class and use the protocol and then discuss what it means to be a hero. You can read the story by clicking HERE.

Here’s a recent picture of Rev. Gilmore.