## Playful Math Carnival #154: The Math Journaling Edition

Welcome to the 154th edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival — a smorgasbord of delectable tidbits of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine devoted to learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to high school.

Bookmark this post, so you can take your time browsing.

There’s so much playful math to enjoy!

By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle/activity in honor of our 154th edition. But if you’d rather jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

## Try This Puzzle/Activity

Since 154 is a nonagonal number, I think you might enjoy visiting some of my old “Adventures of Alexandria Jones” posts about figurate numbers:

And then try this math journaling prompt: Build or draw your own nonagonal numbers — numbers built from 9-sided polygons.

How many nonagonal numbers can you find? What do you notice? Does it make you wonder?

## Math Game Monday: Integer Solitaire

This game gives upper-elementary and middle school children plenty of practice adding and subtracting integers. It’s a fun challenge for older students and adults, too!

“Integer Solitaire” is an excerpt from Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

## A Spring Tradition

### Homeschool Memories…

Back when my kids were young, it was a yearly tradition. The big discount catalog came every spring, full of exciting new ideas for homeschooling.

By that time, we would be tired of whatever books we were using and eager for something new.

I sent the children outside to enjoy the spring sunshine, which gave me time to dream over the tiny-print wishbook. Coffee in one hand, pencil in the other, making lists and dog-earing catalog pages.

So many exciting books and curriculum options, it seemed almost impossible to resist going wild beyond our budget.

## Math Game Monday: Michigan (Boodle)

This game reinforces numerical order and helps children get acquainted with a standard deck of playing cards. But mostly, it’s just plain family fun!

“Michigan (Boodle)” is an excerpt from Math You Can Play Combo: Number Games for Young Learners, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

## How To Respond to Your Child’s Math Writing

In previous posts, I encouraged parents, homeschoolers, and teachers to explore the world of math and introduced one of my favorite learning tools, the math journal. Then I shared several of my favorite types of journaling prompts to get your kids started writing about math.

Math journal prompts offer a wide range of options for students to explore. Most of the prompts do not have a “right” or “wrong” answer. Our goal is to root around in some small corner of the world of math, to lift a stone and peek underneath it, just to see what we can find.

The idea that being good at math means finding the right answers is a huge myth. Of course, many problems in math do have a single right answer. But even for those problems, the answer is not the real math of the problem.

Math is all about thinking.

It’s like taking a road trip. You may have a destination, but there are many paths you could take to get there. Different students may take different paths — they may think about the problem in different ways.

It’s this reasoning that is the real math, and the right answer is just a side effect of reasoning well.

## It’s Here! Math Journaling for All Ages

“Denise Gaskins’s work is consistently lovely and playful, so go check it out if you do any journaling or any other sort of mathematical writing with children.”

—Christopher Danielson, author of Which One Doesn’t Belong?

It’s finally here! 312 Things To Do with a Math Journal includes number play prompts, games, math art, story problems, mini-essays, geometry investigations, brainteasers, number patterns, research projects, and much more.

These activities work at any grade level, and most can be enjoyed more than once. It doesn’t matter whether your students are homeschooled or in a classroom, distance-learning, or in person. Everyone can enjoy the experience of playing around with math.

### Get It Now in Ebook or Paperback

(Thanks! I earn 50% more royalties when you eliminate the middleman.)

And be sure to grab an Adventurous Student Journal or the printable Journaling Pages Bundle to make the writing fun!

## Math Game Monday: Wythoff’s Nim

Use this strategy game to prompt math writing: What did your children notice about the game? How did they decide their moves? How is this a Nim game?

“Wythoff’s Nim” is an excerpt from 312 Things To Do with a Math Journal, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

## 5 Ways To Enrich Your Student’s Experience of Math

In previous posts, I encouraged parents, homeschoolers, and teachers to explore the world of math and introduced one of my favorite learning tools, the math journal.

But you may be wondering, what can my students do with their journal? How do I find good math prompts?

Here are five different ways your children can explore math through writing, classified by the type of reasoning involved.

### #1: Game Prompts

Ask your children to play a number or strategy game and then write about it.

Game prompts break through the idea that math is dull and boring. They help students develop a positive attitude toward math while practicing their number skills or strategic thinking.

## Why Math Game Monday?

There’s a new Math Game Monday this week.

Have your kids tried it yet?

This week’s game is one of my favorites for early elementary grades, a logic game that makes children think about numbers and strategy.

Or, if you’re reading this post later and missed that one, there’s another great new game this week for you to play.

Check it out:

## Math Game Monday: The Nickel Game

This logic game will get your elementary students thinking about numbers and strategy.

“The Nickel Game” is an excerpt from 70+ Things To Do with a Hundred Chart, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!