This is a fun mathematical "trick," which kids generally love, but the math behind it goes deeper. To figure out why it works, kids have to use their skills of:
- writing an expression to represent the problem
- combining like terms
Here is the trick/problem and explanation.
A fun exploration that's accessible to students of any age, mobius strips are neat to see and interesting to take one step further. All you need is paper, scissors, tape, and a pen/marker. You can show students my video or lead them through it on your own. Can anyone guess what will happen if they make the final cut at the end?
Even you might be surprised if you haven't done this before!
These are great because they include instructions and options for different levels of difficulty. Kids can play online. This is a nice way to finish up the meeting if you have time to kill, or get a little competition started between club members while you wait for a math tournament if your math team travels.
Play kukuro here.
Pi Shape Puzzle
This is another fun challenge that works for younger students. It's a cut-up shape puzzle for building spatial & geometry skills, but the extra twist is that the pieces start by forming the symbol for pi, then must be shifted to form a square. This makes it perfect for the mathletes in your club!
Here is the link for the Pi Shape Puzzle.
This is one of the coolest things to explore with your math team. Be sure to leave a whole meeting period so you can dive deep.
This is a perfect mix of math history and a higher level look at the concepts behind place value and digits. It will challenge even your high schoolers to try to approach numeric systems with different bases.
This free hands-on exploration pack has everything you need.
Million Dollar Problem
Kids love to imagine large amounts of money, so this one is a great challenge to get them thinking about. Be sure to show the picture at the end so they can see how much ten million dollars in pennies actually looks like.
Here's the problem...
...and the pennies
This is a classic problem, but an excellent one for partner work. Have kids show how they worked through this scenario, and then share their different approaches with other teams. It's a perfect way to get them talking about their own models and strategies and comparing with how other pairs in the room reached the same conclusions.
Here is a wonderful setup for starting the handshake problem with your group.
This set of brain teasers is so nice, because they are printable, and there are tons of them. It makes it so easy to use one per meeting to kick off and get started. These are perfect brain warm-ups.
Download printable brain warm-ups here.
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