You Know It’s Winter When…

You know it’s winter when you drive the kids to karate practice, and along the way they alternate between arguing with each other and singing along with the radio — and when you come out after practice, before you can drive them home, you have to scrape the frost off the inside of your windshield.


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Puzzle: Logic Test

If you enjoy Raymond Smullyan’s The Lady or the Tiger and similar puzzles, you will probably have fun with this Logic test, posted by JD2718. JD has a wide variety of other math puzzles at his site, so take the time to browse a bit.


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The Case of the Mysterious Story Problem

[Feature photo above by Carla216 via flickr (CC BY 2.0). This post was rescued from my old blog.]
I love story problems. Like a detective, I enjoy sifting out clues and solving the mystery. But what do you do when you come across a real stumper? Acting out story problems could make a one-page assignment take all week.

You don’t have to bake a pie to study fractions or jump off a cliff to learn gravity. Use your imagination instead. The following suggestions will help you find the clues you need to solve the case.

Continue reading The Case of the Mysterious Story Problem

Improper Fractions: A Mathematical Trauma

Feature photo (above) by Jimmie via flickr. Photo (right) by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr.

Nearing the end of Miquon Blue today, my youngest daughter encountered fractions greater than one. She collapsed on the floor of my bedroom in tears.

The worksheet started innocently enough:

\frac{1}{2} \times 8=\left[ \quad \right]

Continue reading Improper Fractions: A Mathematical Trauma

Mastering Miquon: Top Ten Tips

cuisenaire rods
Image via Wikipedia

[Rescued from my old blog.]

I love Miquon math, but the program does feel odd to many homeschoolers, especially at first. It is so different from the math most of us grew up with that it takes time for the teacher to adjust. DJ asked for Miquon advice at a forum I frequent, but I thought enough people might find these tips useful to justify an expanded repost. If you have more advice on teaching Miquon, please chime in!

Continue reading Mastering Miquon: Top Ten Tips

Elementary Problem Solving: The Early Years

[Rescued from my old blog. To read the entire series, click here: Elementary Problem Solving Series. Photo by Studio 757 via flickr.]

You can begin to teach your children algebraic thinking in preschool, if you treat algebra as a problem-solving game. Young children are masters at solving problems, at figuring things out. They constantly explore their world, piecing together the mystery of how things work. For preschool children, mathematical concepts are just part of life’s daily adventure. Their minds grapple with understanding the three-ness of three blocks or three fingers or one raisin plus two more raisins make three.

Wise homeschooling parents put those creative minds to work. They build a foundation for algebra with games that require the same problem-solving skills children need for abstract math: the ability to visualize a situation and to apply common sense.

Continue reading Elementary Problem Solving: The Early Years

Carnival of Mathematics: Inaugural Edition

Carnival of MathematicsThe Carnival of Mathematics: Inaugural Edition is up and running at Abstract Nonsense blog.

Alon writes:

I’ve gotten plenty of submissions that span the entire gamut of math-blogging: education, pure math, applied math, debunking bad math – it’s all there. Only the gender distribution could be made slightly more equal (and that’s an understatement). I’m linking to the posters in roughly increasing order of mathematical difficulty, but don’t let my opinions deter you from reading the posts closer to the bottom.

Indeed, there are many great posts to read. Enjoy!

Math Resource Links

In playing around with my sidebar organization, I noticed that I had only posted one article under the “Resources” category. Actually, I had forgotten I made that category — but it’s a good idea. There are a ton of great math resources out on the Web, and I’d love to introduce you to some of my favorites.

So I spent the last two days sorting through several folders’ worth of bookmarks to find the best math resource links for my sidebar. (Scroll down to “A+ math resources.”) Most of these are the math websites I find myself turning to again and again for teaching ideas or just for personal pleasure, though a few are ones I haven’t used but that looked very interesting. In the future, perhaps I will take time to write about them individually, but for now, I invite you to click and enjoy.

And please, share your own favorites with me! I’m always eager to learn more about math.

Update

These links were later expanded to become my Free (Mostly) Math Resources page.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.