Rate Puzzle: How Fast Does She Read?


[Photo by Arwen Abendstern.]

If a girl and a half
can read a book and a half
in a day and a half,
then how many books can one girl read in the month of June?

Kitten reads voraciously, but she decided to skip our library’s summer reading program this year. The Border’s Double-Dog Dare Program was a lot less hassle and had a better prize: a free book! Of course, it didn’t take her all summer to finish 10 books.

How fast does Kitten read?

Continue reading Rate Puzzle: How Fast Does She Read?

What Is a Blog Carnival Theme?


[Photo by Omar Omar.]

Here’s one more thing you need to know about How To Host a Blog Carnival.

Some of the Math Teachers at Play carnival hosts have asked about setting a theme for their carnivals. That can be either a good idea or a bad one, depending on what you mean by a theme…

Continue reading What Is a Blog Carnival Theme?

How To Host a Blog Carnival

[Photo by ell brown.]

Update March 2012

The blog carnival website has been unreliable for several months, which is why you will see strike-through on the paragraphs below that deal with that site. Please read the current information on these pages:

Do you want your blog to grow? One of the best ways to draw new readers to your blog is to get involved in an active blog carnival. Mike wrote an excellent article (What is a Maths Carnival?) explaining how carnivals work and how to submit an entry.

Now, if you’re ready to raise the ante a bit, let’s bring the carnival itself to your blog.

These instructions are specifically about the Math Teachers at Play (MTaP) blog carnival for classroom teachers, homeschoolers, and independent math learners. After all, that’s the carnival I know best. Still, most of the principles should apply to any blog carnival you might want to host.

Continue reading How To Host a Blog Carnival

How To Start a Math Teacher Blog

[“Sophisticated Blogger” by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.]

Blogging is more than just writing. It involves reading other people’s blogs and commenting, comparing thoughts about mathematics and ideas for teaching it, even getting involved in debates like the multiplication is or isn’t repeated addition kerfluffle. In a way, the blogging community acts like the Chinese “teaching research groups” mentioned in Liping Ma’s book, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics.

What a coincidence! I wrote that paragraph last week for Math Mama’s book, and then this weekend I opened my backlogged Bloglines to discover a series of posts from some of my favorite math bloggers offering excellent advice on how to start a blog.

If you are a classroom teacher, homeschooler, or independent math learner who would like to get into blogging, check out these posts. And if you’re an experienced hand, please add your favorite blogging tips in the Comments section below.

Continue reading How To Start a Math Teacher Blog

Math Teachers at Play #27 via Math Mom


The carnival is up at Ramblings of a Math Mom, a day late but well worth the wait:

Mathmom herself wrote a wonderful post for the carnival, which I was glad to see. I’ve missed her!

You May Also Enjoy

Here’s a puzzle I found to fritter away time while I was waiting for the carnival:

[Warning: The answers are in the same blog post, so don’t scroll down until you’ve tried the puzzle!]


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free problem-solving booklet, and you’ll be among the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


Hobbit Math: Elementary Problem Solving 5th Grade

[Photo by OliBac. Visit OliBac’s photostream for more.]

The elementary grades 1-4 laid the foundations, the basics of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. In grade 5, students are expected to master most aspects of fraction math and begin working with the rest of the Math Monsters: decimals, ratios, and percents (all of which are specialized fractions).

Word problems grow ever more complex as well, and learning to explain (justify) multi-step solutions becomes a first step toward writing proofs.

This installment of my elementary problem solving series is based on the Singapore Primary Mathematics, Level 5A. For your reading pleasure, I have translated the problems into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, The Hobbit.

[Note: No decimals or percents here. Those are in 5B, which will need an article of its own. But first I need to pick a book. I’m thinking maybe Naya Nuki…]

Printable Worksheet

In case you’d like to try your hand at the problems before reading my solutions, I’ve put together a printable worksheet:

Continue reading Hobbit Math: Elementary Problem Solving 5th Grade