Making Math Meaningful - Fun with Puzzles, Games and More!

Jamie York


This book is intended as a resource for middle school and high school math teachers, in part, to supplement the normal daily homework and classroom material (such as the Making Math Meaningful middle school and high school workbooks).

There may be times when things seem to get dull and the students begin to lose their spark. It is then that the teacher knows it is time to do something different. This book provides ideas for that “something different.”

This book is divided into the following sections:

  • Puzzles.
  • There are puzzles for each of the middle school years and for the high school years.
  • The level of difficulty gets greater for the older grades, but that is not to say that difficult puzzles don’t appear for the sixth and seventh graders.
  • It is intended that all puzzles listed under the middle school years ought to be solved without the use of algebra. Several of the high school puzzles use some algebra.
  • Any puzzle may also be used for grades older than what it is listed for.
  • Solutions to the puzzles appear at the end of the book. Of course, it may be best for the teacher to try solving the puzzle (before looking at the solution!) in order to fully experience what the students will go through.
  • With some puzzles, there may be several possible solutions. In those cases, the solution key usually gives only one of the solutions. Even for puzzles where there is only one possible solution, a different approach to that solution (from what is given in the solution key) may be possible.
  • Games. The intention in this book is to have just a few excellent games for the teacher to choose from. Even for the teacher who loves playing games with his class, it may be that introducing just a couple of new games over the course of the year is adequate. A puzzle is a one-time experience; a good math game can be played again and again, each time providing new benefits.
  • Math Magic Tricks. These great attention-grabbers help to develop a sense of wonder for numbers. They are especially effective in grades 5-7, but can also be used in the higher grades as an interesting algebra exercise to show why a given math magic trick works. Additionally, there are around 30 math tricks (for calculating quickly in your head) that are found at the back of the 6th grade and 7th grade Making Math Meaningful workbooks.
  • Classroom Activities. This is a modest collection of activities that could possibly turn out to be the highlight of the year for a math class.

    Jamie York Press