## Free Math from Dover Publications

I love Dover books, don’t you? They publish so-o-o-o-o many interesting titles at reasonable prices. I always have several Dover books on my wishlist, waiting for my next bit of extra cash.

But you don’t have to wait to enjoy free math from Dover books. Sign up for the Dover Sampler, and each week they will send an email with links to content from all sorts of books. Or try the Dover Children’s Sampler and Dover Teacher’s Sampler for coloring books, mazes, literature, and more. All the Dover samplers are completely free, and you can cancel at any time.

### From Last Week’s Sampler

Last week’s email included a section on “Exploring Mathematics”:

And that’s only the beginning. Below, I’ve listed a wide variety of math-related links collected from past samplers. Though be warned: Dover does change its website from time to time, so these pages may disappear without notice.

## Probability Issue: Hints and Answers

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 afterward. But don’t peek! If I tell you the answer, you miss out on the fun of solving the puzzle. So if you haven’t worked these problems yet, go back to the original posts. If you’re stuck, read the hints. Then go back and try again. Figure them out for yourself — and then check the answers just to prove that you got them right.

This post offers hints and answers to puzzles from these blog posts:

## Puzzle: Factoring Trinomials

My high school class ended the year with a review of multiplying and factoring simple polynomials. We played this matching game, and then I gave them a puzzle worksheet. I liked this idea, but I didn’t like the decoded answer. In my opinion, puzzles should give the student a “reward” for solving them — maybe a joke or riddle or something — but that answer seemed almost like nagging.

So I changed things around to make my own version:

## The Game of Algebra

My pre-algebra class hit the topic of equations just as the NFL season moved into the playoffs. The result was this series of class notes called “The Game of Algebra.”

We used the Singapore Math NEM 1 textbook, which is full of example problems and quality exercises. These notes simply introduce or review the main concepts and vocabulary in a less-textbooky way.

I hope you find them useful.

## How to Solve Math Problems

### That’s a Tough One!

What can you do when you are stumped? Too many students sit and stare at the page, waiting for inspiration to strike — and when the solution doesn’t crack their heads open and step out, fully formed, they complain: “Math is too hard!”

So this year I have given my Math Club students a couple of mini-posters to put up on the wall above their desk, or wherever they do their math homework. The first gives four questions to ask yourself as you think through a math problem, and the second is a list of problem-solving strategies.

## Egyptian Math in Hieroglyphs

Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphs, a type of picture writing, and in hieratics, which were like a cursive form of hieroglyphs.

Hieroglyphs came first. They were carved in the stone walls of temples and tombs, written on monuments, and used to decorate furniture. But they were a nuisance for scribes, who simplified the pictures and slurred some lines together when they wrote in ink on paper-like papyrus. This hieratic writing — like some people’s cursive today — can be hard to read, so we are only using hieroglyphic numbers on this blog.