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## Math You Can Play Combo in Paperback and Ebook

If you’re interested in helping children learn math, I have special offer just for you:

**Save 20% off the individual ebooks or 35% off the paperback prices**when you buy a combined 2-books-in-1 edition featuring the first two books in the*Math You Can Play*series together.

The 42 kid-tested games are simple to learn, quick to play, and require minimal preparation. Most use common household items such as cards or dice.

“Although the cover says games for young learners, the beauty of this book is that most of the games can easily be scaled up for older kids, teens, and even adults. My youngest is four and my oldest is 14, and I will be pulling games for all of them out of this book!“I appreciate that most of the games are low floor, high ceiling – easy for a child to access, but can be played at a higher level through strategy or slight alterations to the rules. These are not drills disguised as games, but activities that require problem solving and strategy as well as calculation.”

### Math Your Kids Will Beg to Play

Math games pump up mental muscle, reduce the fear of failure, and generate a positive attitude toward mathematics. Games strengthen a child’s innate understanding of numbers and build problem-solving skills. Mastering a math game can be hard work, but kids do it willingly because it is fun.

Young children can play with counting and number recognition, explore place value, build number sense, and begin learning the basics of addition. Older students can develop mental flexibility by playing with numbers, from basic math facts to the hundreds and beyond.

- If you are a parent, these games let you enjoy quality time with your children.
- If you are a classroom teacher, use the games as warm-ups and learning center activities or for a relaxing review day at the end of a term.
- If you are a tutor or homeschooler, make games a regular feature in your lesson plans to develop mental math strategies.

So what are you waiting for? Add this special combo edition ebook to your order today.

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## KenKen Classroom Puzzles Start Next Week

KenKen arithmetic puzzles build mental math skills, logical reasoning, persistence, and mathematical confidence. Puzzle sets are sent via email every Friday during the school year — absolutely free of charge.

What a great way to prepare your kids for success in math!

Sign up anytime:

### How to Play

For easy printing, right-click to open the image above in a new tab.

Place the numbers from 1 to 6 into each row and column. None of the numbers may repeat in any row or column. Within the black “cages,” the numbers must add, subtract, multiply, or divide to give the answer shown.

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## New Fantasy Adventure Novel by Homeschooled Teen Author

If you or your children enjoy clean fantasy tales, check out the new installment in my daughter’s serial quest adventure *The Riddled Stone,* now available at many online bookstores.

**Click here to see the whole series.**

### How Can a Knight Fight Magic?

Trained by the greatest knight in North Raec, Sir Arnold Fredrico dreamed of valiant deeds. Save the damsel. Serve the king.

Dreams change. Now the land teeters at the brink of war. As a fugitive with a price on his head, Arnold struggles to protect his friends.

But his enemy wields more power than the young knight can imagine.

238 pages, ebook: $3.99, paperback: $14.99.

##### Review

*Betrayed,* by Teresa Gaskins, really exceeded my expectations. The setting is a world of “light” magic. Magic is rare, constrained, and follows a sort of logic, which may or not be fully understood by the people in the world. I like the way in which this sets up plot connections and forces things to happen for a reason, rather than deus ex machina or authorial patronus.

There are some obvious protagonists and some obvious villains, but Gaskins creates a nice ambiguity around several of the key characters. The plot itself is interesting and engaging with multiple levels of motivation that drive it along. Mainly, this is a group-of-friends quest story that is fun and well told.

I think the appropriate age range for *Betrayed* is from adult down to middle school. While there is nothing specifically inappropriate for younger children, readers need a moderate level of maturity to manage the multiple plots and number of characters.

— Phanwadee, *Amazon.com reviewer*

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## Do You Blog About Math?

*[Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr.]*

It’s carnival time again. Activities, games, lessons, hands-on fun — if you’ve written a blog post about math, we’d love to have you join our **Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) math education blog carnival**.

Posts must be relevant to students or teachers of school-level mathematics (that is, anything from preschool up through first-year calculus). Old posts are welcome, as long as they haven’t been published in past editions of this carnival.

**Don’t procrastinate:** *The deadline for entries is Friday, August 19.* The carnival will be posted next week at **The Usual Mayhem**.

Have you noticed a new math blogger on your block that you’d like to introduce to the rest of us? Feel free to submit another blogger’s post in addition to your own. Beginning bloggers are often shy about sharing, but like all of us, they love finding new readers.

### Would You Like to Host the Carnival?

Hosting the blog carnival is fun because you get to “meet” new bloggers through their submissions. And there’s a side-benefit: The carnival often brings a nice little spike in traffic to your blog. If you think you’d like to join in the fun, read the instructions on our **Math Teachers at Play page**. Then leave a comment or **email me** to let me know which month you’d like to take.

### Explore the Other Math Carnivals

While you’re waiting for next week’s *Math Teachers at Play* carnival, you may enjoy:

**Browse past editions of the***Math Teachers at Play*blog carnival**Carnival of Mathematics****Carnaval de Matemáticas**

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## Join the Fun: Math & Magic Virtual Book Club

Eleven weeks of mathematical playtime kicks off this week over at Learners in Bloom blog.

Each week, we’ll be playing with the math, language, and logic topics found in a single chapter. I’ll be posting ideas for extension activities, videos demonstrating the concepts for the week, and additional resources. I’m really excited for the opportunity to share all the extra ideas that have been floating around my brain which I didn’t have room to include in the book (as in Marco Polo’s famous words: “I did not tell half of what I saw.”)

— Lilac Mohr

### Here’s a Quick Taste of Week One

### This Week’s Activities

Lilac’s blog post includes a full schedule for the eleven-week book club, featuring plenty of classic math puzzlers to play with. Here are the topics for this week.

- Read Chapter 1: Mrs. Magpie’s Manual
- Alliteration
- Memorizing digits of Pi
- Palindromes
- Calculating your age on other planets

It looks like a lot of fun. I highly recommend the book (**read my review**), and I’m sure you and your children will enjoy discovering math and magic with Lulu and Elizabeth.

Check it out: **Math & Magic in Wonderland Virtual Book Club, Week One**.

**two free learning guide booklets**, and be one of the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

## Puzzle: Exploding Dots

I’m planning ahead for my fall semester homeschool co-op math class. Definitely going to try this with the kids…

Encourage your children to have some fun this week with this Exploding Dots math puzzle from **The Global Math Project**. What do they notice? Does it make them wonder?

### More Explosive Math

You may recognize the connection between Exploding Dots and binary numbers. Or not — the puzzle is accessible to people at all ages and levels of mathematical sophistication.

But what I find amazing is that this puzzle can help us understand all sorts of topics in elementary arithmetic and algebra. So cool!

If you’d like to investigate Exploding Dots in depth, check out James Tanton’s **free G’Day Math online course**.

**two free learning guide booklets**, and be one of the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

## FAQ: Trouble Finding the Right Math Program

“I can’t find a home school math program my son likes. We’ve tried Singapore Math, Right Start, Saxon, and Math Mammoth. We subscribed to a month of IXL Math to keep him in practice, but he hates that, too. I know I shouldn’t have changed so many times, but this was our first year of homeschooling, and I was trying to please him. But I’m running out of things to try. Do you think Life of Fred might work?”

You’ve tried all those math programs in one year? Many people recommend that new homeschoolers take a few months off to “detox” from the classroom setting, to relax and enjoy the freedom of making their own choices. But your son might want a few months to detox from his homeschool experience.

I suggest you set aside all those books and focus on games and informal math. Try to avoid schoolish lessons until your son starts to enjoy learning for its own sake. The Internet offers an abundance of creative math ideas.

- For example, download the
**Wuzzit Trouble**or**DragonBox**apps to play with, but don’t make it a homework assignment.

- Or let him choose one of the activities at Gordon Hamilton’s
**Math Pickle**website and explore it for a day or a week or as long as it remains interesting.

- Browse through the
**Primary Level 1**or**Level 2**puzzles and games at the Nrich Mathematics website for more ideas.

Look for more playful math on my blog’s resource pages:

### Explore Big Concepts: Infinity

Math that captures a child’s imagination can make the more tedious work seem bearable. For instance, in the 1920s, mathematician David Hilbert created a story about an **imaginary grand hotel** with an infinite number of rooms.

### Explore Big Concepts: Fractals

Take a mental trip to infinity by playing with fractals. Cynthia Lanius’s online **Fractals Unit for Elementary and Middle School Students** offers a child-friendly starting point.

Fractals are self-similar, which means that subsections of the object look like smaller versions of the whole thing.

Most children enjoy exploring the concept of infinity with hands-on fractal patterns, such as this Sierpinski triangle made of tortilla chips. Talk about what you notice and wonder: How does the triangle grow? How many chips will we need for the next stage?

### The Daily Four

If you worry that your son needs to keep practicing traditional arithmetic during his break, try making him a series of Daily Four pages:

- Fold a sheet of plain paper in half both ways, making four quarter sections.
- Write one math problem in each part. Choose them from any of your math books.
- Make sure each problem is different — one addition, one fractions, one multiplication, or whatever — and that none of them are hard enough to cause frustration.
- Don’t worry about an answer sheet. Show him how to use a calculator to check his work.

You can make up a whole week’s worth of these problem sheets at once, with a balanced mix of problems for each day. Your son won’t feel overwhelmed, but you’ll know he’s reviewing his number skills.

Or download some of the **Corbettmaths 5-a-Day** practice sheets for him. Some problems may seem too easy while others require concepts he hasn’t studied yet. Easy review won’t hurt anything, but do let him skip the problems that feel too hard.

Credits: “Rock Surfer Boy” by Ken Bosma and “Boy” by Isengardt via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0) Hotel Infinity video by Tova Brown.

This post is an excerpt from my book * Let’s Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together—and Enjoy It,* as are many of the articles in my

**Let’s Play Math FAQ**series.

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