Question

Dear Mitch,

I know you've already posted a bunch of ideas for Halloween costumes for math teachers and students who are interested in doing something related to a math costume, but you also said you would be posting more. (By the way, the ideas you came up with last year were especially clever, so, to be honest, I'm still waiting for one new one that hits my funny-bone the way last year's did.

I'm sure YOU remember, but for those readers who are new to this site, I thought I'd take the liberty of listing the ones that the other math teachers in my department and I particularly liked:

1) painting a pumpkin costume black and going as a decimal point

2) dressing up as a lion and taking a marker to put numbers all over it (a "number-lion")

3) Wearing a hat with a small plant growing out of the top of it ("GEE-I'm-A-TREE"), or geometry)

4) The Crazily-dressed number in the straight-jacket (an "irrational number"),

And there were others, which I know I'm leaving out, plus the ones you put up last week for this Halloween, but whatever other ideas you might have would certainly be welcome!

Yours truly,

MR. S.

High School Teacher

South Carolina

Answer

Dear Mr. S.,

Surely! Here are a few more. Hopefully you'll find something here you'd like to try.

1. Create two giant axes (or purchase the plastic ones that are sold almost everywhere for other Halloweeen costumes), and then with a permanent marker put X's all over one ax, and put Y's all over the other. Cross the two axes and attach them to each other with clear sealing tape. Then affix them to the front of your body, either by cutting a hole through them and feeding a belt through that hole or by some other method. You will be a set of "X-and-Y axes".

2. Take a large cardboard square or whole cardboard box that can go over your head and rest on your shoulders. Paint it yellow, like a road sign. Then, when the paint is dry, print the word "division" on the front. Print the same word on the back. You are now a "division sign".

3. Following the process of the idea behind number 3, as described above, you could choose to be an addition sign, a subtraction sign, a multiplication sign, a "CO-sign", etc.

4. If you could somehow get yourself to look like a cage, particularly a bird cage, either by covering a large box that you wear with black and white graph paper and drawing a door on it, etc., or actually wearing part of a discarded piece of chicken wire from the science department, etc., and paint the phrase "This cage contains Polly", the empty cage will transform you into an image of a "POLYGON".

Happy holiday! Have fun!

I hope these thoughts help,

Mitch