Thinking Thursday: Painting Blocks 1

“Journaling Prompt #165 Painting Blocks 1” is an excerpt from Task Cards Book #4, 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: Painting Blocks 1

Playful Math Education 162: The Math Games Carnival

Welcome to the 162nd 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 162nd 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

The number 162 is a palindromic product:

162 = 3 x 3 x 2 x 3 x 3
and 162 = 9 x 2 x 9

  • How would you define palindromic products?
  • What other numbers can you find that are palindromic products?
  • What do you notice about palindromic products?
  • What questions can you ask?

Make a conjecture about palindromic products. (A conjecture is a statement you think might be true.)

Make another conjecture. How many can you make? Can you think of a way to investigate whether your conjectures are true or false?

Click here for all the mathy goodness!

Launch Day! Act Now To Get the Earlybird Bonus

And so it begins: Tabletop Math Games Collection is LIVE on Kickstarter!

Check It Out

To have a successful campaign, we need plenty of people to back the project early. The more supporters we get — especially on the first day — the more likely the Kickstarter service folks will help spread the news for us.

So I’m offering a special bonus printable activity guide for everyone who joins the campaign at any pledge level during the first 48 hours of the campaign:

Geometric Coloring Designs 5: Advanced Tessellations is one of my favorite open-ended math art activities, which works with students from elementary to high school. And adults enjoy it, too!

The rest of the Geometric Coloring Designs series will show up as bonuses in future weeks, and early backers get them all. Whether you pledge on day 1 or day 21, your credit card won’t be charged until the campaign ends, so join early to lock in your bonus perks.

Let’s show the whole world how much fun it can be to play around with math!

Go to the Kickstarter

Math Game Monday: Fifty Sticker Race

“Fifty Sticker Race” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Counting & Number Bonds: Math Games for Early 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.

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 helps young players internalize the counting patterns in our base-ten number system.

Fifty Sticker Race

Math Concepts: counting to fifty, how to read a hundred chart.

Players: any number.

Equipment: one printed game board for each player, one six-sided die, sheet or roll of small stickers (fifty per player), scissors.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Fifty Sticker Race

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.

Sign Up To Get Notified

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