## Free Online Math for Middle School and Up

The Art of Problem Solving people recently announced their new Alcumus program, which provides online lessons on assorted math topics, including probability and combinatorics, which most math textbooks do not cover well, if at all.

Update October 2011:

Alcumus currently complements our Introduction to Algebra, Introduction to Counting & Probability, Introduction to Number Theory, and Prealgebra textbooks, as well as our Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Introduction to Counting & Probability, Introduction to Number Theory, and Prealgebra 1 online courses. We expect to continue to expand topics in Alcumus.

I am signing up all my MathCounts students. If you’re a homeschooler, we would love to have you join us!

## MathCounts — Ready or Not, Here It Comes

[Feature photo above “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch” from CheezBurger.com.]

Okay, kids, I know you’re on break, but Mr. Grinch would tell you that’s no excuse to laze around playing games and eating cookies. There is only a month until our school MathCounts competition, which doesn’t give you much time to prepare. I’ve collected several resources to build up your mental muscle-power before the test…

## Checking for Old, Rusty Links

Photo by Clearly Ambiguous.

If you blog about MathCounts, beware that they recently overhauled their website — which made almost everyone’s links to them obsolete. I ran a routine check for dead links and found quite a few on my blog. I hope that I’ve caught most of them, but if you stumble across one of those nasty “Page not found” messages when you click a link on my blog, I hope you will report it in the comments section.

## Substitute Teacher Experiments with Combinatorics

Photo by peigianlong.

Here is a puzzle from Just a Substitute Teacher:

Lesson plan entry: “Hand out worksheet packets and have students staple before starting. They know what to do.”

Sounds simple enough! Four numbered sheets, eight total pages, printed front and back. What could go wrong?

Do you know how many possible combinations four pieces of paper can be arranged for stapling?

## Happy Pi Day II

Now there is an ancient Greek letter,
And I think no other is better.
It isn’t too tall,
It might look very small,
But its digits, they go on forever.

## Time to Celebrate

Are your students doing anything special for $\pi$ Day? After two months with no significant break, we are going stir crazy. We need a day off — and what better way could we spend it than to play math all afternoon?

If you need ideas, here are some great $\pi$ pages:

## Way To Go, Boys!

Congratulations, math team! All your hard work paid off, and I hope you enjoyed yourselves thoroughly. Of course, as C. S. Lewis wrote:

…if you do one good deed, your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.

Now it’s time to practice for the state level in March. You can find practice problems online at:

Preparation Drills for MATHCOUNTS
or
The “Go Figure!” math challenge
[ACK! MathCounts has re-written their website. The old link is no longer any good, but I haven’t yet found the new location for this game.]

And give the new interactive Countdown Round game a try:

AoPS For The Win!