Playful Math Journaling with a Cat

As queen of the house, Cimorene insists on being involved in anything that happens in her domain. This includes promoting the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter.

So she created a cat math journaling prompt to help your children experience the fun of playing around with math.

But first, she encourages you to visit the Kickstarter page and download the free 16-page printable Math Journaling Sampler file. Your kids will love solving Cimorene’s puzzle on one of the parchment-style pages!

Visit the Kickstarter

Here is Cimorene’s Puzzle

“The Princess of Cats has a luxuriously soft tail about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Her tail is three times the length of her noble head. Her beautiful, furry body is as long as head and tail together. How long is the Princess from her delicate nose to the tip of her majestic tail?”

So, how does math journaling work? What do children do with a problem like this?

They may want to make a list of the things they know from the story. Perhaps they will draw a picture of the cat and label the proportions. Each will take their own approach to figure it out.

And then the best part of any math journal prompt is when kids make their own math.

  • Can they write a new puzzle about their own pet?
  • Or about their favorite animal?

Encourage your children to share their math creations with their friends and family.

Cimorene would love to read it, too! If you share your story in the comments section below, I will be sure to show it to her.

And remember to back the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter so your whole family can enjoy the adventure of playing with math!

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…

Continue reading Math Journals: Save the Cat!

The Wisdom of Cats

My publishing company welcomes our two newest employees. Cimorene and Puck will head up our promotions department. Because cats know the internet, and they know how to make people do whatever they want.

Or at least, that’s what they tell me.

Today, Cimorene wants people to back the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter. She thinks everyone should order one of the paperback or hardcover book sets. Because books come in boxes. And boxes are important to cats.

Puck agrees that boxes are a good thing. But he thinks people should choose any pledge level they like. Puck values curiosity and creative thinking, and the Math Rebel project is all about teaching students to explore ideas and think creatively about math.

So listen to the wisdom of cats, and back the Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter today!

Make 100 Math Rebels Kickstarter

Blogging Without a Computer

funny pictures of cats with captions

In case you’ve been wondering, my old computer finally bit the dust a couple of months ago. I’ve been living out of a flash drive, begging time on my kids’ computers between “homework” sessions — do you know how hard it is to drag a teenage girl away from Facebook? — and barely keeping up with email.

But I do have some blackboard quotes saved up from this semester and a few drafts on the back burner. I will get back to blogging someday, I promise!


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

I Couldn’t Resist…

funny cat pictures & lolcats - don't talk to me  i hasn't had mah coffee

And since this is supposedly a teaching blog, here are some “educational” links:


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

I Could Sit Here Forever…

…with Princess Kitten‘s baby sitting on my lap, sucking her thumb paw. Of course, it is difficult to get any typing done, and the laundry that is beeping at me from the other room will just have to wait its turn. Peace is a purring kitten.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Quotations XIII: Mathematics Education Is Much More Complicated than You Expected

Registrations have been rolling in for our homeschool co-op, and the most popular classes are full already. Math doesn’t seem to be a “most popular” class. I can’t imagine why! Still, many of my students from last year are coming back for another go, and I am getting spill-over from the science class waiting list.

Anyway, I have started planning in earnest for our fall session. As usual, I look to those wiser than myself for inspiration…

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

Continue reading Quotations XIII: Mathematics Education Is Much More Complicated than You Expected

Solution: The Cat’s Lasagna

The puzzle (from The mysterious temporal freeze) was:

A certain famous cat snarfs down an 11″x13″ pan of lasagna in 3 seconds flat. Assuming the fat feline has a bottomless pit for a stomach and continues to eat at the same rate, how long will it take him to devour a pasta the size of the state of Illinois?

Remember the Math Adventurer’s Rule: Figure it out for yourself! Whenever I give a problem in an Alexandria Jones story, I will try to post the answer soon afterwards. But don’t peek! If I tell you the answer, you miss out on the fun of solving the puzzle. Figure it out for yourself — and then check the answer just to prove that you got it right.

Continue reading Solution: The Cat’s Lasagna