Friday Fave for March 16

The Fave is in a playful mood this week. Sure math can be hard work, but it can also be about play and creativity. To that end, here are a few playful activities you’ll find at

First up is Polygraph, in all its many forms. Many definitions of play involve informal engagement and a development of sophistication over time (which also sounds a lot like learning, and this is not a coincidence!). These characteristics are exactly what we designed Polygraph to support. As Polygraph Continuity (an activity for Calculus) demonstrates, this kind of math play is not limited to the primary grades!

Next is Des-Pet. Use functions to draw your pet’s face. Make it simple or complex; serious or silly. These characteristics are entirely up to you.

All versions of Marbleslides are playful, of course. And the Fave thinks of nearly every screen as an opportunity for playful self-expression. But Marbleslides: Rationals brings creativity, delight, and joy to precalculus. And the final screen where we invite students to Build a Marbleslide that’ll make your classmates chuckle and think, “Oh that’s delightful.”? Pure play.

And that brings us to Tile Pile, which is a fun—if not especially playful—activity until you get to the end, where we challenge you to fill a square with each of four differently-shaped tiles.

This little widget is a ton of fun to play with. You can make patterns and keep track not just of whether each tile works, but the different ways each tile works. Our field research indicates that the Z tile is especially challenging.

Can you fill the square with the Z-tile? Reach out and tell us about your ideas! We’d love to play along.