Math Journals: Save the Cat!

Puck is concerned that some people don’t understand the idea behind the Math Rebel journals. He decided to create a journaling prompt so your children can experience the joy of creative reasoning (and save cats from their mortal enemy!)

Journaling is a great way to help children learn to see with mathematical eyes. Not just to remember what we tell them, but to create their own math.

Many people know it’s important for students to do hands-on experiments in science. But Puck realized that most adults don’t know how to do a math experiment.

So Puck created this Cat Escape puzzle…

Can You Save the Cats?

“Imagine the dog ran into the kitchen, so the cats need to get off the floor. There are three chairs around the table. There are two cats, and they DON’T like to share a seat. How many different ways can the cats jump onto the chairs?”

Students may draw pictures, write explanations, or play with equations (if they know them). Puck suggests using the journaling pages from the free Make 100 Math Rebels sampler file. The beautiful parchment design makes doing math an adventure.

Make 100 Math Rebels on Kickstarter
[The free download will always be there, even after the Kickstarter project ends.]

And THEN the fun begins. The real point of a math experiment is to change something in the problem and explore how that changes the answer.

So create your own Cat Escape puzzle: What if there are 4 chairs, or 3 cats, or only one cat? What if there are more chairs? What if there’s only one chair? (A math horror story, from Puck’s point of view!) What if the cats are willing to share a seat?

What questions will you ask?

Older students: Can you find a method that will give a solution for any number of cats and chairs?

The Answer Is…

When Puck was a little barn kitten, his mama taught him that the best way to learn is to figure things out for yourself. So he won’t give you the answer to his puzzle.

You can work alone or with a friend. When you have an answer that makes sense to you, and your friend can’t find anything you missed, that’s good enough.

Someday you may realize your answer wasn’t complete or there were factors you hadn’t considered. Feel free to revisit the problem at that time and see what else you can discover. As every cat knows, learning is a 9-lives-long challenge.

Launch your family on a math odyssey: Listen to Puck, and help your children save the cats.

And back the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter today.

Visit Make 100 Math Rebels

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