Sample The Moscow Puzzles

Dover Publications is offering a free sample chapter from The Moscow Puzzles.

Cat and Mice
Purrer has decided to take a nap. He dreams he is encircle by 13 mice: 12 gray and 1 white. He hears his owner saying: “Purrer, you are to eat each thirteenth mouse, keeping the same direction. The last mouse you eat must be the white one.”

How Crazy Can You Make It?

And here is yet more fun from Education Unboxed. This type of page was always one of my my favorites in Miquon Math.

Update:

Handmade “How Crazy…?” worksheets are wonderful, but if you want something a tad more polished, I created a printable. The first page has a sample number, and the second is blank so that you can fill in any target:

Add an extra degree of freedom: students can fill in the blanks with equivalent and non-equivalent expressions. Draw lines anchoring the ones that are equivalent to the target number, but leave the non-answers floating in space.

Or don’t draw lines. Let the kids create a worksheet for you to solve. After they finish their expressions, can you figure out which ones connect to the target number?

Olympic Logic

I love logic puzzles! Nrich Maths offers four fun Olympics Logic puzzles. And be sure to check out the rest of their Nrich Olympics Math as well.

Medals Count

Given the following clues, can you work out the number of gold, silver and bronze medals that France, Italy and Japan got in this international sports competition?

• Japan has 1 more gold medal, but 3 fewer silver medals, than Italy.
• France has the most bronze medals (18), but fewest gold medals (7).
• Each country has at least 6 medals of each type.
• Italy has 27 medals in total.
• Italy has 2 more bronze medals than gold medals.
• The three countries have 38 bronze medals in total.
• France has twice as many silver medals as Italy has gold medals.

Go to Nrich Maths and try all four puzzles!

Princess in the Dungeon Game

Yet more fun from Rosie at Education Unboxed. I found these while looking for videos to use in my PUFM Subtraction post. Rosie says:

This is seriously embarrassing and I debated whether to put this video online or not because this is NOT my normal personality, but my girls made up this game and will play it for over an hour and ask for it repeatedly… so I figured someone out there might be able to use it with their kids, too.

If you know me, please don’t ever ask me to do this in public. I will refuse.

Princess in the Dungeon, Part 1 – Fractions with Cuisenaire Rods

Book Update, and Self-Publishing Info

photo by Darwin Bell via flickr

As you may know, I’ve been working hard on my Let’s Play Math! books, and I’m still hoping to get at least couple of them out this summer. (Though if I keep thinking of more sections to add, I may never get them done!) I’m also finishing up the editing on my daughter’s novel and plan to release it soon.

One of the most useful resources I’ve found for self-publishing information is Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. The last time I published my books, a dozen years ago, I made nearly every one of the mistakes he mentions in Amateur Hour Books and 5 Book Design Mistakes to Avoid.

PUFM 1.4 Subtraction

Photo by Martin Thomas via flickr. In this Homeschooling Math with Profound Understanding (PUFM) Series, we are studying Elementary Mathematics for Teachers and applying its lessons to home education.

When adding, we combine two addends to get a sum. For subtraction we are given the sum and one addend and must find the “missing addend”.

— Thomas H. Parker & Scott J. Baldridge
Elementary Mathematics for Teachers

Notice that subtraction is not defined independently of addition. It must be taught along with addition, as an inverse (or mirror-image) operation. The basic question of subtraction is, “What would I have to add to this number, to get that number?”

Inverse operations are a very fundamental idea in mathematics. The inverse of any math operation is whatever will get you back to where you started. In order to fully understand a math operation, you must understand its inverse.

Multiplication Challenge

Can you explain why the multiplication method in the following video works? How about your upper-elementary or middle school students — can they explain it to you?

Pause the video at 4:30, before he gives the interpretation himself. After you have decided how you would explain it, hit “play” and listen to his explanation.