Thinking Thursday: Cliff Stoll

“Quotation from Cliff Stoll” is an excerpt from Reflections on Mathematics 1: 28 Quotation Cards, available as a digital printable activity guide at my bookstore. Read more about my playful math books here.

Do you want your children to develop the ability to reason creatively and figure out things on their own?

Help kids practice slowing down and taking the time to fully comprehend a math topic or problem-solving situation with these classic tools of learning: See. Wonder. Create.

See: Look carefully at the details of the numbers, shapes, or patterns you see. What are their attributes? How do they relate to each other? Also notice the details of your own mathematical thinking. How do you respond to a tough problem? Which responses are most helpful? Where did you get confused, or what makes you feel discouraged?

Wonder: Ask the journalist’s questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how? Who might need to know about this topic? Where might we see it in the real world? When would things happen this way? What other way might they happen? Why? What if we changed the situation? How might we change it? What would happen then? How might we figure it out?

Create: Create a description, summary, or explanation of what you learned. Make your own related math puzzle, problem, art, poetry, story, game, etc. Or create something totally unrelated, whatever idea may have sparked in your mind.

Math journaling may seem to focus on this third tool, creation. But even with artistic design prompts, we need the first two tools because they lay a solid groundwork to support the child’s imagination.

Continue reading Thinking Thursday: Cliff Stoll

I’ve Never Done This Before…

My new math book series, the Tabletop Math Games Collection, launches exclusively on Kickstarter next week. I can hardly wait!

Get Notified When We Go Live
(free Kickstarter account required)

And I’m trying several new reward options I’ve never done before. (The “rewards” on Kickstarter are all the various things you can buy with your support pledge.)

Here’s a quick peek at a few of the new things to come.

This is going to be so much fun!

Math Games Book Boxes

You can choose from two sizes.

The smaller Math Games Book Box includes one paperback Math Games Booklet at your child’s level: Early Games, Primary Games, or Advanced Games. Plus one enamel pin, and either a set of cards and dice or a small whiteboard with markers.

The Mega Math Games Gift Box includes the spiral-bound Deluxe Omnibus book (which contains all three smaller books and more), plus all unlocked pin designs, and plenty of cards, dice, and other handy supplies shown above. (Colors will vary.)

Enamel Pins

Show your gaming spirit with these cool enamel pins.

By popular request, we have enamel pins in four designs. The first two are available immediately, and two more will unlock as Stretch Goals.

  • “Let’s Play Math” in cool spring colors
  • “Let’s Play Math” in warm fall colors
  • 🔒 [Locked] Deck of playing cards (unlocks at Stretch Goal #1)
  • 🔒 [Locked] Penrose triangle of rainbow blocks from the back of the playing cards (unlocks at Stretch Goal #3)

Pins are about 1″ diameter hard enamel, for the perfect combination of durability and fun color. Backed with a metal military-style butterfly clip for extra strength, so it won’t fall off your backpack or bag.

If you choose a reward level that includes pins, or buy them as an add-on to another level, be sure to fill out your post-campaign survey to tell me which design you want.

Limited International Shipping

Digital rewards are available worldwide.

For physical books and merchandise, I can offer shipping to a few countries with small-business-friendly tax laws:

  • UK, for books only (no merchandise)
  • European Union
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • and the US, as always

You may owe import duties and VAT before you can claim your package. I have no control over the customs clearance process in your country, so you might want to check with your local customs officials or post office for details on what to expect.

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Math Game Monday: Krypto Insanity

“Krypto Insanity” is free on this website for one week only. It’s 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.

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game will push each player’s mental math skills to the limit. Calculators optional.

Krypto Insanity

Math Concepts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, order of operations, fractions, decimals, integers, absolute value, powers and roots, factorials.

Players: any number.

Equipment: one deck of playing cards (or two decks for a large group), pencil and paper for each player and for keeping score. Calculator optional.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Krypto Insanity

Thinking Thursday: Clock Puzzle

“Journaling Prompt #137 Clock Puzzle” is an excerpt from Task Cards Book #3, available as a digital printable activity guide at my bookstore. Read more about my playful math books here.

Do you want your children to develop the ability to reason creatively and figure out things on their own?

Help kids practice slowing down and taking the time to fully comprehend a math topic or problem-solving situation with these classic tools of learning: See. Wonder. Create.

See: Look carefully at the details of the numbers, shapes, or patterns you see. What are their attributes? How do they relate to each other? Also notice the details of your own mathematical thinking. How do you respond to a tough problem? Which responses are most helpful? Where did you get confused, or what makes you feel discouraged?

Wonder: Ask the journalist’s questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how? Who might need to know about this topic? Where might we see it in the real world? When would things happen this way? What other way might they happen? Why? What if we changed the situation? How might we change it? What would happen then? How might we figure it out?

Create: Create a description, summary, or explanation of what you learned. Make your own related math puzzle, problem, art, poetry, story, game, etc. Or create something totally unrelated, whatever idea may have sparked in your mind.

Math journaling may seem to focus on this third tool, creation. But even with artistic design prompts, we need the first two tools because they lay a solid groundwork to support the child’s imagination.

Continue reading Thinking Thursday: Clock Puzzle

Can You Help Me?

I’m finishing up my plans for the Tabletop Math Games Collection project and pledge levels. The Kickstarter launches in two weeks. Where did the time go?!

But I need help. Could you please take a few minutes to look over the project page and give me some feedback?

  • Preview & Comments Page
    (NO account required to see the preview, but you may need to log in if you want to leave a comment.)

It’s so hard to edit myself because I miss too many mistakes. So having new eyes on the page would be a great help in catching typos and making sure the descriptions make sense and are as clear as possible.

Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see:

There’s a place to enter comments on the right. Or you can email me directly with anything you want to share.

There’s also a Notification link at the top left corner of the page, for anyone who hasn’t yet signed up for Kickstarter to tell you when the project launches.

Thank you so much for the feedback!

Yes, I’d Love To Help. Let’s Go!

Math Game Monday: Pattern Block Mastermind

“Pattern Block Mastermind” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Let’s Play Math, 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.

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game encourages logical thinking about permutations — the different ways blocks can be arranged in a row.

Pattern Block Mastermind

Math Concepts: permutations, logical deduction.

Players: two or more.

Equipment: pattern blocks, pencil and two pieces of paper.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Pattern Block Mastermind

Thinking Thursday: The Adventure of Learning

“Journaling Prompt #75 The Adventure of Learning” is excerpt from Task Cards Book #2, available as a digital printable activity guide at my bookstore. Read more about my playful math books here.

Do you want your children to develop the ability to reason creatively and figure out things on their own?

Help kids practice slowing down and taking the time to fully comprehend a math topic or problem-solving situation with these classic tools of learning: See. Wonder. Create.

Continue reading Thinking Thursday: The Adventure of Learning

New Project: The Tabletop Math Games Collection

Coming Soon! On January 30th, I’ll be launching a brand new book series, the Tabletop Math Games Collection.

And the Kickstarter prelaunch page is now live. That means you can sign up to get an email from Kickstarter as soon as the campaign launches:

Visit the Prelaunch Page ❯
(free Kickstarter account required)

Test Out 4 Free Sample Games

Math games build mental flexibility and strategic reasoning in players of all ages. And even people who hated math in school can enjoy the friendly challenge of a game.

I’ve put together a free printable sampler file, with four ready-to-play card games you can enjoy today.

I think you’ll love it!

Download the Sample File ❯

Help Your Kids Learn Math the Playful Way

  • Are you a parent trying to help your child learn math?
  • Or a teacher looking for ways to encourage creative thinking?
  • Or a gamer ready to try something new with your friends?

Then the Tabletop Math Games Collection is perfect for you.

These are NOT the typical memory-and-speed-based math games you’ve probably seen online, but true battles of wit and skill (plus a bit of luck). Even the preschool games can be fun for adults, too.

Most of the games take only seconds to learn and less than 15 minutes to play, making them perfect ice-breakers for family gatherings, classroom warmups, or for launching a group game night.

Don’t miss the fun!

Hit the button to visit the prelaunch page and sign up for notifications:

Get Notified ❯

Math Game Monday: Connect 4

This game pushes students to visualize shapes in two dimensions as they plan their strategic moves.

“Connect 4” 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!

Thinking Thursday: Bowling

“Journaling Prompt #1: Bowling” 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.

Do you want your children to develop the ability to reason creatively and figure out things on their own?

Help kids practice slowing down and taking the time to fully comprehend a math topic or problem-solving situation with these classic tools of learning: See. Wonder. Create.

Continue reading Thinking Thursday: Bowling