Pazuju – the great new puzzle you never heard of

I remember years ago reading about Sudoku. Already popular in Japan, the reviewer predicted that it would be featured in newspapers as regularly as crossword puzzles. Since then it indeed had, as predicted, a meteoric rise. Math educators tend to be fans of Sudoku and similar puzzles (especially KenKen). Logic puzzles motivate the same sorts of thinking we use when …

Math Circles for Teachers

. We’ll thrilled to be offering math circles for elementary and middle school teachers in partnership with the Washington Experimental Math Lab at the UW. With their generous support, these unique professional development meetings are absolutely free. Clock hours will be available. You can sign up by filling out this survey: Elementary Math Teacher Circle Middle School Math Teacher Circle …

Summer Staircase Retrospective Part 1

We recently wrapped up our most ambitious project ever, and as data on it starts to roll in, I thought I’d take a moment to share. This summer, we produced a math curriculum for Seattle Public Schools Summer Staircase, a six-week program in Seattle to prevent summer slide and, ambitiously, help kids like school. Our job was to write a …

An Interview with Emily Grosvenor, author of Tessalation!

Tessalation! is a new children’s book about a little girl who discovers tessellations in the outdoor world. I backed the project when it was on Kickstarter earlier this year, and my book just arrived. Both the drawings and the writing is beautiful, and it is, to my knowledge, the only book for kids about tessellations. Emily Grosvenor, the author of …

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QAMA – the calculator that won’t make you lazy

I got a call months ago from someone with what sounded like like a bizarre idea: he claimed he’d invented a special calculator to use as a pedagogical device in the classroom. I was about to dismiss the call as being a crank, when I realized that what he was describing, if it worked, was potentially a brilliant idea. I …

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Book Reviews

I read pop math books. Quite a few, in fact. Also, sometimes publishers send me advance copies and ask for reviews. I generally read these too. What makes me a bad reviewer is that I then wait for 6 – 20 months before I actually write anything down. Time to remedy this situation! Here are a batch of quick reviews …

Tiny Polka Dot has funded!

We’re thrilled to announce that our Kickstarter campaign for Tiny Polka Dot has funded! This means we’ll be bringing this game into the world before the end of the year. There are still 66 hours in the campaign, and you can still support the project, help us reach our stretch goals to make the game even better, and get your …

Pyramid Puzzle

This Pyramid Puzzle was recently featured in a post in Forbes about our Tiny Polka Dot campaign. Take two suits–that’s 22 cards, with 0 – 10 each occurring twice. The puzzle is to make a pyramid using 10 cards of those 22 cards, so that each number in the pyramid is the sum of the two below it. Here’s a …

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What are the aims and goals of math education, K-2?

As part of the Math for Future Elementary School Teachers class we’re teaching at the UW, we regularly ask our students to reflect on what they’re learning in the class. This particular student reflection felt so dense and comprehensive that I thought it would be worth sharing here (with her permission, and her name removed). The prompt: What do you …

How to help your kids fall in love with math: a guide for grown-ups

So you want your kid to know math? Of course you do. Math is an important tool, used widely in many disciplines, and helps us make sense of our world. It’s also beautiful, fun, and interesting, especially for young children. Kids are just entering the world of patterns and numbers, and their love of math is ready to bloom. They …