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!

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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