Girls and math

The University of Chicago researched math anxiety in young girls and found that female teachers may affect the way young girls view math.  If  female teachers can change a girls view on math, what affect does a mother’s math anxiety have on their daughters. 

Here is another article from the University of Michigan on a study of girls continuing on in math based career and the influence a father has on their choices. 


January 26, 2010 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Stop sign

A little problem to ponder over the long weekend. 

Red stop sign clipart ...You buy a square piece of styrofoam to make a stop sign for a school musical.  The styrofoam costs $4.  To make the stop sign, which is a regular octagon, you cut off the corners of the square.  What is the cost of the discarded portion of the styrofoam?

January 15, 2010 at 10:03 am Leave a comment

Just the Factors

This is a relatively common game but it is a good one.  It helps students recognize factors for a given product.  Reinforcing factors helps close the gap between with learning their multiplication and division facts. 

This game if for two players. 

Player 1 selects a number, circles it and records the number as points for him/herself.  

Player 2 finds all the proper factors (all factors except 1 & itself) and circles each with a different colored pencil or marker. 

Player 2 then adds up all the numbers they circled and records it as point for themselves. 

Players alternate positions, selecting numbers from the remaining numbers, until there are no factors left.  (Selecting a number that has no factors left on the board is an illegal move and does not count as points. 

Players add up all their points and player with the largest score wins.

January 13, 2010 at 10:14 am Leave a comment


So if you have nothing to do.  Here is a puzzle for you. 

In 1879 Lewis Carroll, author of Alice and Wonderland and professor logic at Oxford University, sent in a new type of puzzle he called doublets to Vanity Fair magazine.  He thought up these puzzles when two young girls told him they had nothing to do.  The object of a doublet is to change one word to another through a series of steps in which only one letter may be changed at a time.  Each change must form a new word.  For example, one of Carroll’s doublets was to change PIG into STY. 


Try these others:  CAT into DOG

                                     CAR into JET

                                    COOL INTO BELT   will give you some more puzzles.

December 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

Magic Squares

Magic Square predates back to 2200 BC.  Legend has it that Emperor Ta-Yu conceived the first magic square after seeing a turtle with a odd pattern on its shell.  Since that time magic squares have been part of the mathematics of nearly every culture.  Benjamin Franklin wrote extensively about them and amused himself with them “to avoid weariness” while he was a clerk in the Pennsylvania assembly. 

Magic square consists of numbers arranged in a square so that all rows, columns, and usually the two diagonals will add up to the same sum.   Arrange the first nine counting numbers; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in the nine square cell.  There is only one possible arrangement.  


Click on this link to play more Magic Squares

December 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm 1 comment

Great math games for the holidays

In today’s world knowing the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing are very important but so is problem solving, critical thinking and deductive and inductive reasoning along with the ability to make  judgements and good estimates.  Playing games like those listed below will help develop those needed skills. 

  Blink is a fun fast paced game of categorizing for kids aged 5 on up for about $6.  SET is also a categorizing game requiring deeper thinking recommend for age 8+  for $10.  Blokus is one of my favorite games developing spatial perception and logic age 8+ cost around $27.  Gobblet  a great expansion on the traditional Tic-Tac-Toe game cost about $30 age 5+.  Mancala is a great game that is also the longest played game in history age 7+ cost around $8.  Sequence for Kids is great for younger age 3 to 7 cost $20.

December 3, 2009 at 10:34 am 2 comments

Balloon Pilot

You recently took up balloon flying to earn some money.  You earn $11.94 for every mile you fly.  You earned 4 times as much on Saturdays as you did on Sunday.  And you earned 1/16 as much on Sunday as you did on Monday.  On Monday you earned $3,056.64.  How far did you fly on Saturday?  Hot air balloon image

November 30, 2009 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

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