Logic Puzzle: Imbalance Problems

Kitten and I have been slogging through the decimals chapter in AoPS Pre-Algebra. She hates arithmetic, so I tried skipping ahead to the algebra puzzle in the exercises, but she refused to be taken in: a decimal problem with an x in it is still a decimal problem.

So I let her off early and pointed her toward these logical “algebra” puzzles instead:

Puzzle by Paul Salomon

Continue reading Logic Puzzle: Imbalance Problems

Beautiful Math: Visualizing Music

Mathematicians Ask Questions

If we want to teach our children to think mathematically, we need to model and encourage asking questions. For instance:

  • What is the difference between the rectangular sounds and the round ones?
  • At 5:20, the orange notes (violin) change to a different shape. Why? What change in the sound does this represent?

What questions does the video inspire for you? I’d love to hear your comments!

More Information


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.


Happy Square of a Square Day

3-19 Happy Square of a Square Day sign

In Response To

Make your own “Happy Math Day” sign:

Here’s a fun activity for any age that will encourage your children to play with numbers:


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.

Math Teachers at Play #60 via White Group Mathematics

Due to an apparent glitch with the submissions, it’s a frustratingly short carnival this month. But you will still find plenty of fun, from elementary kitchen math to algebra 2 and fractions to fractals:

The number sixty happens to be the smallest number divisible by the numbers 1 to 6. Also, it has the honour being a unitary perfect number, i.e. it can be interpreted as being the overall sum of its unitary divisors (excluding itself). Give this a try to convince yourself: 1 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 12 + 15 + 20 indeed equals 60.

Click here to read the math carnival post.

How to Recognize a Successful Homeschool Math Program

photo by danielrmccarthy
photo by Dan McCarthy (cc-by)

After teaching co-op math classes for several years, I’ve become known as the local math maven. Upon meeting one of my children, fellow homeschoolers often say, “Oh, you’re Denise’s son/daughter? You must be really good at math.”

The kids do their best to smile politely — and not to roll their eyes until the other person has turned away.

I hear similar comments after teaching a math workshop: “Wow, your kids must love math!” But my children are individuals, each with his or her own interests. A couple of them enjoy an occasional geometry or logic puzzle, but they never voluntarily sit down to slog through a math workbook page.

In fact, one daughter expressed the depth of her youthful perfectionist angst by scribbling all over the cover of her Miquon math workbook:

  • “I hate math! Hate, hate, hate-hate-HATE MATH!!!”

Translation: “If I can’t do it flawlessly the first time, then I don’t want to do it at all.”

photo by Jason Bolonski (cc-by)
photo by Jason Bolonski (cc-by)

Continue reading How to Recognize a Successful Homeschool Math Program