### Digging Through the Archive

Over the years, ** Let’s Play Math!** blog has grown into a sprawling mess of 960+ posts, pages, and handouts. It gets harder every year to find the particular activity or game you’re looking for.

I write primarily about math, but I have other interests as well, and sometimes those sneak through onto the blog — a bit of fiction, some Shakespeare, and of course, stories about my kids.

A couple years back, I put together the following lists of my top 10 (more or less) favorite blog posts from each category. I’ve written many new posts since then, but these oldies are still good reading.

Skim. Click. Explore. Have fun!

##### “Table of Contents” Quicklinks

### Mathematics Sub-Categories

- Activities:

Games – Puzzles – Math Club Activities – Holiday Math - By Grade Level:

PK-1st Grade – Middle Elementary – Grades 5+Up – Algebra & Beyond - How & Why (understanding math):

Understanding and Teaching Elementary Arithmetic – Math Monsters (tough topics in arithmetic) – Word Problems - History
- Math Carnivals
- Math Humor
- Book Reviews

### Activities Sub-Categories

[Back to *Mathematics*.]

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### Best *Let’s Play Math!* Games

Take a break from textbook math and enjoy yourself. I like to use games as a warm-up at Math Club meetings. Some homeschoolers make every Friday a Game Day.

- Game: Times Tac Toe
- Game: Target Number (or 24)
- Contig Game: Master Your Math Facts
- Math Game: What Number Am I?
- Hit Me! (A Math Game)
- The Function Machine Game
- Game: Avoid Three, or Tic-Tac-No!
- Euclid’s Game on a Hundred Chart
- Math Club Nim
- Game: Tens Concentration
- The Game that Is Worth 1,000 Worksheets

[Back to *Activities*.]

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### Top *Let’s Play Math!* Puzzles

My students love puzzles and will work much harder at such a challenge than they ever would do on a textbooky worksheet. Try your hand at a few of these, and let me know what you think.

- 2013 Mathematics Game
- Logic Puzzle: Imbalance Problems
- Lewis Carroll’s Logic Challenges
- How to Start an Argument: The Monty Hall Problem
- Tangrams and Other Dissection Puzzles
- Alex’s & Leon’s Homeschool Puzzle
- Leonhard’s Block Puzzles
- Egyptian Geometry and Other Challenges – Egyptian Math Puzzles
- Puzzle: Random Blocks
- Puzzle: Patty Paper Trisection

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### Favorite Math Club Activities

My Math Club students enjoy the above games and puzzles, of course, but we also have fun with projects that are not so easy to categorize. So grab a group of kids, and let’s play some math!

- Math Project: Measure the Earth
- Sept-Oct 2010 Math Calendars
- Math Clubs, Math Circles, and the Richmond Math Salon
- Quilt: What Can You Do with This?
- Math Warm-Up: Today is February 4×3×2×1
- 20+ Things to Do with a Hundred Chart
- Math Club: Counting 101
- Skit: The Handshake Problem
- Story Problem Challenge
- How To Start a Homeschool Math Club

[Back to *Activities*.]

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### Let’s Play Holiday Math

I’ve been surprised by the popularity of these posts. I suppose we all like to take a break from the daily grind and try something different, and holidays give us an excuse for it.

- Happy Square of a Square Day – Every Day Is Mathematics Day
- Puzzles for the New Year
- Head’s Up for e-Day
- Be My (Math) Valentine – Valentine’s Day: Say It with Music
- Happy Pi Day I – Happy Pi Day II – More Fun With Pi
- April Fool’s Day: Fun with Math Fallacies
- Happy Tau Day – Tau Day Limerick
- Math Storytelling Day
- 10/10 is Powers of 10 Day
- Halloween: The Math of Zombies – More Halloween Math
- Have a Mathy Thanksgiving Dinner
- Christmas Math Puzzles and Activities

**More posts tagged ‘Holiday math’**

[Back to *Activities*.]

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### By Grade Level Sub-Categories

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### Top Ideas for PK-1st Grade Children

Young children love to explore patterns, shapes, and numbers. Let them play around with math, and leave the more formal written lessons for later.

- Moebius Noodles: New Must-Read Math Book
- Tell Me a (Math) Story
- “Homeschooling with Math Anxiety” Series
- “Delayed Arithmetic” Series
- Easy-to-Make Counting Rope
- Mental Math: Addition
- Cute Math Facts for Visual Thinkers
- Number Bonds, Number Rainbows
- Elementary Problem Solving: The Early Years
- Number Bonds = Better Understanding

**More posts for the PK-1st grade category**

[Back to *Grade Levels*.]

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### Best Posts on Middle Elementary Math

Beware! As concepts get harder, pushing your student could lead to math anxiety. Instead, make math a cooperative effort by using *Buddy Math*. Or intersperse your textbook math lessons with fun, low-pressure games and activities.

- Trouble with Times Tables – the Times Table Series
- The Cookie Factory Guide to Long Division
- Narnia Math: Elementary Problem Solving 4th Grade
- Math Facts: 5 Minutes a Day
- Buddy Math
- 20+ Things to Do with a Hundred Chart
- Math Facts Are like Learning to Type
- How to Teach Math to a Struggling Student
- Ben Franklin Math: Elementary Problem Solving 3rd Grade
- Negative Numbers for Young Students

**More posts tagged ‘Elementary school’**

[Back to *Grade Levels*.]

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### Mastering Math in Grades 5+Up

This category takes in a wide range of math, from the middle school Math Monsters to more advanced number theory topics that show up on MathCounts and other contests — anything that counts as arithmetic beyond the basics. I love this level of math!

- Triangular Numbers: Sum from 1 to N
- More Than One Way to Solve It – More Than One Way to Solve It, Again
- The (Mathematical) Trouble with Pizza
- Rate Puzzle: How Fast Does She Read?
- Hobbit Math: Elementary Problem Solving 5th Grade
- Prime Numbers Are like Monkeys
- Do Your Students Understand Division?
- How to Solve Math Problems II
- Free Online Math for Middle School and Up
- MathCounts — Ready or Not, Here It Comes – Math Club: Counting 101

**More posts tagged ‘Middle school’**

[Back to *Grade Levels*.]

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### Let’s Play with Algebra & Beyond

Algebra, geometry, pre-calculus and more… I don’t tend to write as much about high school math, because my kids are mostly independent learners by that stage. They also take classes at the local community college, which gives them a few grades on their transcripts from somebody other than Mom. (Mom is a *tough* grader!)

- Math That Is Fun: Infinite Primes
- How To Master Quadratic Equations
- Homeschooling High School Math
- Thinking (and Teaching) like a Mathematician
- Algebra: A Problem in Translation
- Puzzle: Factoring Trinomials
- Euclid’s Geometric Algebra
- A Mathematician for President
- An Ancient Mathematical Crisis
- Why Study Mathematics?
- Free: Calculus Student’s Best Friend

**More posts tagged ‘High school’**

[Back to *Grade Levels*.]

[Back to *Mathematics*.]

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### How & Why Sub-Categories

[Back to *Mathematics*.]

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### Understanding and Teaching Elementary Arithmetic

As you study, remember the PUFM goal: “Know HOW, and also know WHY.” Most of us already know the “how” of these topics, but we are constantly learning new things about the “why” (and the “how to explain”).

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Math Monsters Sub-Categories

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Fiddling Around with Fractions

Fractions can confuse anyone! Don’t believe me? Well, can YOU explain the answers to **my fraction quiz**?

- How to Understand Fraction Division
- Subtracting Mixed Numbers: A Cry for Help
- Fraction Models, and a Card Game
- How to Read a Fraction
- How Shall We Teach Fractions?
- Quiz: Those Frustrating Fractions
- A Mathematical Trauma
- Fraction Division — A Poem
- Math quotes V: A man is like a fraction…
- Math Quotes III: Five out of Four People

[Back to *Math Monsters*.]

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Let’s Play with Ratios, Proportions, & Percents

Tough topics like decimals, ratios, percents, and proportions are all specialized forms of fraction. Try to help your student understand how each new idea connects to the basic fraction concepts.

[Back to *Math Monsters*.]

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Exploring a Few Other Tough Topics

The *Math Monsters* are the things that make students afraid of math. What is the scariest math topic you can think of?

**More posts tagged ‘Math monsters’**

[Back to *Math Monsters*.]

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Word Problems Sub-Categories

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### I Wonder about Solving Word Problems

Why do so many people hate word problems (aka *story problems*)? My children have always preferred their math to be “about something,” rather than working with abstract numbers. Word problems are like little puzzles or mini-mysteries to solve — what fun!

- More Than One Way to Solve It
- The (Mathematical) Trouble with Pizza
- Algebra: A Problem in Translation
- How to Solve Math Problems II
- Word Problems in Russia and America
- Reading to Learn Math
- Writing to Learn Math – Writing to Learn Math II
- Elementary Problem Solving: The Tools
- The Case of the Mysterious Story Problem
- Story Problem Challenge – Story Problem Challenge Revisited – Babymath: Story Problem Challenge III

**More posts tagged ‘Word problems’**

[Back to *Word Problems*.]

[Back to *How & Why*.]

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### Use Bar Diagrams to Think Through Word Problems

I love the problem-solving tool called *bar diagrams* (or *Singapore math models*), which I learned about from Singapore Primary Mathematics but which can be easily applied in any math program. A visual form of algebra, these diagrams will help all students learn to reason their way through word problems.

- Hobbit Math: Elementary Problem Solving 5th Grade
- Narnia Math: Elementary Problem Solving 4th Grade
- Elementary Problem Solving: Review
- Solving Complex Story Problems II
- Ben Franklin Math: Elementary Problem Solving 3rd Grade
- Penguin Math: Elementary Problem Solving 2nd Grade
- Elementary Problem Solving: The Tools
- Solving Complex Story Problems
- Number Bonds = Better Understanding

**More posts tagged ‘Bar diagrams’**

[Back to *Word Problems*.]

[Back to *How & Why*.]

[Back to *Mathematics*.]

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### Let’s Play with Math History

The story of mathematics is the story of interesting people. They faced the normal challenges of daily life as well as the creative challenges of mathematical imagination. It’s a shame that our children see only the dry remains of these people’s passion.

- Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years
- Hooray for (Math) History
- Math History on the Internet
- A Very Short History of Mathematics
- Egyptian Math in Hieroglyphs
- The Secret of Egyptian Fractions
- An Ancient Mathematical Crisis
- Historical Tidbits: Alexandria Jones
- Historical Tidbits: Agnesi, Euler, and China
- A Mathematician for President
- Math History Tidbits: The Battling Bernoullis

[Back to *Mathematics*.]

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### Explore the Math Carnivals

A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts loosely related to a given topic. Carnivals give bloggers a chance to reach a wider audience than just their regular readers, and they give readers interested in the topic a chance to access a wide variety of articles at once. Here are the math carnivals I’ve hosted, plus a couple of hodge-podge “carnivals” of my own.

- Math Teachers at Play #62
- Math Teachers at Play 58
- Math Teachers at Play 52
- Math Teachers at Play 46
- Math Teachers at Play #39
- Math Teachers at Play #35
- Brighten Up Your Monday with Puzzles
- What is a Math Carnival?
- Math Teachers at Play #24
- Math Teachers at Play #20
- Math Teachers at Play #8
- Math Teachers at Play #5
- Math Teachers at Play #2
- Math Teachers at Play #1

**Posts for the Math Carnival category**

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### Best Bits of *Let’s Play Math!* Humor

In the process of making this *Best of Blog* page, I’ve enjoyed the chance to explore long forgotten posts, including these old treasures. If you’d like a laugh, check out…

**More posts tagged ‘Math humor’**

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### A Few of my Favorite Books (and Other Reviews)

Like many homeschoolers, I’m a book fanatic. Our family collection has grown to fill 11 tall bookshelves, and I’m trying to figure out where we can squeeze in another. I’d like to develop a habit of posting book reviews on a regular basis, but so far I haven’t followed through on my good intentions…

- Moebius Noodles: New Must-Read Math Book
- Lockhart’s Measurement – The World of Mathematical Reality
- Who Killed Professor X?
- What I’m Reading: Fermat’s Enigma
- Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years
- Free Math from Dover Publications – Raymond Smullyan Excerpts at Dover Publications
- Old Dogs, New Math
- Review: Math Mammoth
- New Edition of Must-Read Math Book
- Free: Calculus Student’s Best Friend
- Review: Kiss My Math – Review: Math Doesn’t Suck

**More posts for the Reviews category**

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### The Mathematical Adventures of Alexandria Jones

Just before the turn of the century, I tried my hand at fiction writing for a short-lived newsletter. A few years ago, I dusted off my newsletter issues and began to republish the adventures as blog posts. Check out my index page:

### Education Sub-Categories

### My Thoughts on Teaching Math

Many teachers are concerned about the amount of material they must cover in a course. One cynic suggested a formula: since, he said, students on the average remember only about 40% of what you tell them, the thing to do is to cram into each course 250% of what you hope will stick.

— Paul Halmos

- Thinking (and Teaching) like a Mathematician
- The Problem with Manipulatives – Still Relevant After All These Years
- Math Clubs, Math Circles, and the Richmond Math Salon
- How DO We Learn Math?
- Reading to Learn Math
- Writing to Learn Math – Writing to Learn Math II
- Diagnosis: Math Workbook Syndrome
- How to Teach Math to a Struggling Student
- If It Ain’t Repeated Addition, What is It? – What’s Wrong with “Repeated Addition”?
- The “Aha!” Factor

[Back to *Education*.]

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### Hooray for Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a daily adventure in learning. Here are a few posts directly related to homeschool strategies and planning or to our local homeschool co-op.

- How to Recognize a Successful Homeschool Math Program
- Homeschooling High School Math
- Buddy Math
- Homeschooling with Math Anxiety Series
- MathCounts: No More Homeschool Teams
- Review: Math Mammoth
- How To Start a Homeschool Math Club
- How To Harness Metacognitive Decision-Making
- Spring, the Season for Planning…
- Homeschool Burnout? 10 Tips for Coping
- The “Are You a Homeschooler?” Quiz

**More posts tagged ‘Homeschooling’**

[Back to *Education*.]

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### In the Mood for Something Other than Math?

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the chance to relearn and finally understand the topics I hated when I was in school. And what greater adventure could there be than to introduce your child to all the wonderful things in God’s world?

**Posts for the Other than Math category**

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### Life in General Sub-Categories

### Assorted Posts about Blogging

You won’t find any “Get Rich Blogging” posts here, but I hope you’ll find something of interest…

[Back to *Life in General*.]

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### My Family’s Adventures

Meet my children: Moonlight, Niner, Chickenfoot, and Princess Kitten. (The **Computer Geek** grew up and moved away before we started blogging together.) I admit, I’ve chosen way more than 10 posts in this category — but you wouldn’t expect a mother to play favorites, would you?

- New Fantasy Fiction Book by 13yo Homeschooler – Reviews for my Daughter’s Book
- More Than One Way to Solve It
- More Than One Way to Solve It, Again
- The (Mathematical) Trouble with Pizza
- Quotable: From Calc 3
- Our Power Outage Adventure
- A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That…
- Congratulations, Kitten!
- Kitten Poses a Puzzle
- Hurricane Ike Drops In
- More Backwards Math
- Math Game: What Number Am I?
- Does Life Have You Swamped?
- Not Just a Math Geek
- Backwards Math
- Way To Go, Boys!
- They Grow Up Too Fast!
- Happy Birthday, Princess Kitten!
- Best of 2007
- I Could Sit Here Forever…
- Living with History
- Best Kitten Toy Ever
- Happy Birthday, Sweet 17!
- You know it’s winter when…
- A Mathematical Trauma
- I’m Your Birthday Present. Can You Find Me?
- Why am I Always the Straight Man?
- Finding the Limit
- Fibonacci Poetry = Fun!
- Kids Do the Craziest Things

**Yet more posts tagged ‘My family’**

[Back to *Life in General*.]

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### Let’s Play with Quotations

I love quotations, don’t you? Anything I might possibly want to say, someone else has already said — and usually better than I ever could!

- Quotations XXVI: On Teaching Math
- Quotations XXV: Math is a Game
- Quotations XXIV: Probability
- Quotations XXIII: The Poetry of Logical Ideas
- Quotations XXII: Six Months in the Dark
- Quotes XXI: How Is Logic Like Whiskey?
- Quotations XVII: If people don’t believe that mathematics is simple…
- Quotations XV: More Joy of Mathematics
- Quotations XIV: The Joy of Mathematics
- Quotations XIII: Mathematics Education Is Much More Complicated than You Expected
- Math Quotes VI: Beauty in Mathematics
- Why Study Mathematics?

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