Tag Archives: Nic

Math: Habits of Mind (Nic)

Have you enjoyed the open-ended, sometimes-puzzle-like activities we’ve done in the synchronous math sessions this year? Sticker this class if you want to keep doing that kind of work to build your math brain.

This class will meet synchronously 2x/week.

There will be no asynchronous/self-paced part to this class. You will not be learning “algebra” or “pre-algebra” per se. If you want my shepherding to keep working on Khan Academy, etc., you should (also) sticker the Skill Sprint class.

Project Euler (Nic)

[Since this didn’t go as an intensive, but there seemed to be interest in it, I’m offering it as a class! The class pitch is reproduced below.]

This is a programming class for people who enjoy math. It’s also a math class for people who enjoy programming.

Project Euler is a website with a collection of simple but challenging math problems, most of which need a bit of computing power to solve easily.

Here’s the first one:

If we list all the natural numbers below 10 that are multiples of 3 or 5, we get 3, 5, 6, and 9.  The sum of these multiples is 23.  Find the sum of all the multiples of 3 or 5 below 1000.

You could solve that problem by writing out all the numbers and adding them up — but that will take a long time!

In this class, we will spend some time writing a simple program to solve this problem—and some of the other 400+ problems on the site—elegantly. We’ll teach each other, learn from each other, and play with math and programming.


  • Some programming skills. Which language you know isn’t that relevant—I can imagine using Python, Javascript, C, even PHP to do this work… though maybe not Scratch—but having some familiarity with basic concepts like variables, data and control structures, functions, etc. is essential.
  • If you’re really interested in joining but have zero programming background, talk to me. I could help you identify and complete an online tutorial in Python before the end of spring break.
  • You should also have some general affinity for math. Having some experience with algebra would be an asset.

There are good tools for collaborating on this kind of thing remotely—think Google Docs for code—so we’ll still be able to work together, even from our own homes.

Nomic (Nic)

Here are three things that really make me happy:

  1. Community/teamwork
  2. Improvisation
  3. Playing games

Nomic is all three of those things. It’s a game (it has rules), but playing the game is an exercise in group creative expression. If you appreciate any of these things, you might enjoy Nomic too!

I hope to play Nomic with a group of people over the entire course of Spring Term. We’ll gather synchronously for two slots/week, and might collaboratively invent some asynchronous ways of keeping the game going outside of class.

Character strengths that are useful to have, and can further develop playing Nomic:

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Fairness
  • Attention to detail
  • Appreciation of beauty

Frames of mind that may make Nomic more challenging or less enjoyable for everyone:

  • Rigidity
  • Cynicism
  • Impatience

Let’s invent together!

Constitutional Law (continued) (Nic)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Open only to participants from the winter term course.

Math: Skill Sprint (Nic)

If you want to keep working on the asynchronous, self-paced math you’ve been doing in pre-algebra or algebra, this is the place to put your sticker. Spring Term is only eight weeks long… sprint to the finish line!

I will sort students into sections based on the level of work they’re doing. Students will have only one sync section per week, which will focus on supporting the specific skills and knowledge they are studying in their async work. (This is different from Fall and Winter Terms, where groups were mixed across experience levels.)

Students will be expected to complete at least 90 minutes of async work outside of class per week.

(Want to also keep doing the fun, open-ended tasks we’ve been doing in most of our sync sessions this year? Consider also stickering the Habits of Mind class.)