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Primo – the beautiful, colorful, mathematical board game

Primo A Totally Unique Mathematical Board Game from Math for Love More than a year ago we had an idea to build a game around what felt like one of the unsung ideas in math: prime numbers make multiplication easy. (Why does no one learn this in school?) We realized that with the right color-coding, it would be possible to …

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Horseshoes (and Hand Grenades)

We’ve recently invented a game that surely already exists in some form already. But it’s been super fun to play, and we’ve been using it with kids and teachers at all grades. It’s kind of magic. We don’t have a scoring system for the game, and I don’t think it needs it in many cases, but if you have ideas …

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“Help, my daughter hates math!”

Back in August, an email with the subject “Help, my daughter hates math!” showed up in the Math for Love inbox. To quote that email: Here’s our situation:  We are entering our fourth year of home schooling and my 10 y/o daughter has been utterly unable to memorize basic math facts.  She does seem to grasp new concepts quickly (though …

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Math Consulting: Games to Content, by way of Questions

We’ve been loving running math workshops for teachers. First of all, teachers are awesome: they’re some of the hardest working, most motivated people out there. They want to know as much math as they can, and they want to help their students learn it. So it’s a pleasure for us, as two mathematicians, to come in and discuss what’s possible …

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Hex Board!

If you read about the amazing gift of the (now consumed) Sierpinskitaschen last week, you would rightly assume that our present karma had about played itself out. Not so! On Tuesday I had two students–third graders at an after school math circle I lead–present me with one of the all time awesome-est gifts I have ever received. I am, you …

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My Short List: Books and Games for Parents and Young Kids

A parent recently asked me a great question: what books (and games) would be useful for home use? There are lots of resources around, such as living math, or the book list from Love 2 Learn 2 Day, where you can find great ideas for math books and games to read and play at home. However, sometimes the sheer profusion …

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Triangle: A new math card game

A 10-year-old I meet with greeted me yesterday by telling me that he’d had an idea for a game called “Triangle” right before going to bed. He described the basic premise, and we toyed with different ideas for game play. As we worked, I mentioned my three guidelines for inventing a game: It should have a clear goal. It should …

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Post Salon Contentment

Back from the math salon and feeling great. I’ve been able to make some minor adjustments since the last one: I added a challenge problem, a group game after people have mostly arrived to break the ice, a little discussion of the relation of games to questions and math, and more written down to help people jump right into playing …

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Actually Good Math Computer Games

I always go back and forth on video and computer games to learn math. On the one hand, there’s something soporific about staring at a screen, and it feels like you need a kind of thought disengaged from the machine to really get to the deepest kinds of thinking. I’ve long had my doubts whether computer games that promote math …

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A game to end all times tables drills: Damult Dice

Every kid needs to learn their times tables at some point, and this means practice. Unfortunately, practicing times tables can be unmotivated and boring for kids. We adults, rightly, ask, “How can we make it fun?”(Important note: times tables are not math. Math doesn’t need to be made fun; it already is fun. Memorizing your times tables is a rote …