1) Where do the problems come from?
From an old wise woman who lives alone on the top of a mountain in some far away
place. Seriously, that is up to the facilitator(s) or even better the teacher(s) who are
putting the Math Marvels activity together. Check out the sample problems from past
Math Marvels sessions and the resource websites for ideas.
2) What should I do with my students before the videoconference to prepare
Review good math problem solving that has the students use various strategies and
discussion. You can easily do this with the sample problems from past Math
You may also want the students to create problems that have an answer of a
number you predetermine before the videoconference. For example, have the
students create problems that have an answer of 12.
Ask the students to come up with a few math themed jokes to share at the end of the
activity. This can help generate excitement as students look forward to the
3) What should I do before the videoconference to prepare myself?
Designate someone at one of the locations to be the main facilitator (game show
host personality recommended) during the videoconference. This person will
coordinate the sharing of the problems, solutions, and basically keep the activity
flowing. You also need to designate a secondary facilitator at each location to help
coordinate anything with the main facilitator at that specific location.
Pre-assign the students to small work groups of 3-5 students. During the activity
they will work on the problem in their small work group and then compare/discuss
answers with the other groups in the class.
4) How does the activity work during the videoconference?
The designated facilitator(s) will present the problem(s) to the classes.
Once the problem(s) is/are presented the locations will mute their microphones and
work on their problem in small groups while comparing/discussing their answers and
strategies with the other groups in the class. Teachers are encouraged to ask
leading questions if their students need direction, but should not directly help them.
After about five minutes each location will share their answer and the steps they took
to solve the problem.
You may keep score, but keep the focus on the activity. Remember, the purpose of the activity is to develop problem solving skills and practice communicating math solutions.
5) Should I do anything after the videoconference?
Of course you need to applaud the students for a job well done! You should also have
the students share their thoughts with you about their experience and acknowledge their
feedback by putting it back into Math Marvels to help continue to improve it for