# Monday Fun

Spring! Glorious spring. It’s been spring since last Wednesday, and if you’re like me, you’re having a snow day. Actually, no: if you’re like me, you’re home schooled, and snow days don’t exactly apply *sigh*.

Anyway, it’s Monday now, and I was like, “Hey, it’s Monday. School… fun… yay…. I’m going back to bed.” But instead, I dragged myself downstairs and did math… with decimals… I don’t like decimals. At all.

But I do like snow! And fractals, and pictures, and algebra (I was working in pre-algebra, and I’m all like: Yay! and then it was like: Hey, do some decimals, and now I’m all like: 😦 ). And stuff. You have no idea how long I spent trying to make that sad face a crying face… But alas, earwax… Er, failure. (If you get that reference, ten points to your house!)

Anyway, what I’m about to talk about has nothing to do with fractals or earwax, and only half to do with algebra, depending on how you define algebra. And snow, part of it has to do with snow.  It does have pictures, though! I like pictures.

Anyway it’s Monday, and the fact you are reading this may hint at how bored you are. But I decided, “Hey, what could make today’s math more fun…”

And the best part, let me tell you: it has nothing to do with decimals. Or numbers, for that matter. First: snow! We all love snow, right? Or at least snowflakes. So today, regardless of whether you have any snow outside or not, you can have fun going back to that holiday craft of paper snowflakes.

Or, if you have a lot of blow-up beach ball balloons and such (Which I don’t… ah well), you can do plastic sphereflakes.

Well, while that’s fun, there’s still math to be done. And that’s where sort-of-algebra and pictures comes in: How ’bout working on some Imbalance Problems. They’re challenging and have nothing to do with numbers. Or (more importantly, says I) decimals. I don’t know if I’ll be making any, but solving them is fun. And once you’re done with those three, here are twelve more! These are fun because they’re logic. And I think almost everyone enjoys logic a bit. In my opinion it’s the best type of math, because it doesn’t feel like math.

Anyway, I need to finish up the imbalance problems, and then decorate my computer with some snowflakes (which may be tricky, since most of it is white…).

But of course, besides those two things, I want to go play in the snow! (This is the first snow we’ve gotten in a few years that is actually both the right consistency and there’s enough of it to do stuff with.)

# Cops and Robbers *coughcough*

(Okay, the “*coughcough*” was mostly random.) When you see the words “Cops and Robbers,” there are a couple things you might think of. One of these things is a game called Cops and Robbers (see more in blockquote below). The game is the closest to what I’m talking about.

Today for math, I did a graphing game on the computer called: Cops and Robbers. In the game, you were supposed to find the robber by entering a guess of what the “robber’s” (x,y) position was. If you guessed wrong, it would put a little blue dot in that position that had a number on it. That number told people how many “paces” the robber was away; most the time those paces weren’t just straight lines.

## So what happened?

At the start I just played normally: make a guess, then go from there. Then I randomly started clicking the “test coords” button with the same “coords” (coordinates) entered. My mom and I started joking about this, and I told her that if the game had me down for a ridiculous number of guesses, we’d know that it counted my extra clicks. She said, “If it says something like ‘You took 72 guesses,’ we’ll know it did.”

Later as I was playing with it, she wondered if we actually could make 72 guesses. (The game didn’t count my extra clicks.) I said it was easy to find out, and I started a math problem to see how many guesses we could make. It turned out to be 169.

At first Mom thought it would be hard to make all the guesses because we’d probably accidentally hit the Robber. But I pointed out: “No, we wouldn’t even have to find the Robber; we’d just have to find where the robber CAN’T be.” This made me go off and want to try. And look at what I did: (more…)

# Negative Subtracting Problems

This story is told in letters, for it is in letters that it happened.

I tell you what I think was happening right before the letters began:

One morning, in the world of Backwards Math (a small land inside a bigger land called MathLand), a little number named -1 + – 30= -31 went to check his mailbox and found a letter. That letter begins our story of letters.

Dear -1 + -30 = -31,

-70 – -40 = ?  needs you to help find her answer!!!

-40 ÷ -20 = 2

Dear -40 ÷ -20 = 2,

Tell -70 – -40 = ? to shorten -40 to -39, then she’ll get -31,

then subtract -1 and there’s her answer.

-1 + -30 = -31

Dear  -1 + -30 = -31,

-70 – -40 = -30 found her answer, thanks to you.

She doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to repay you,

-1 + -30 = -31.

-40 ÷ -20 = 2

Dear  -40 ÷ -20 = 2,

No prob. I loved helping her.

-1 + -30 = -31

I think that -1 + -30 = -31 came to the level of being called -31 soon after. (Because of how well he handled the problem.)

And so this story of  letters is told. I hope that soon I’ll be able to tell you another.

# Math games for learning Times

If your child is having problems learning multiplication, then the best way to teach them is to make it fun and to help them solve the ones they have trouble with. There’s a website you can go to that makes it fun. You still need to help them with the harder ones, and I’d be careful on the games you start them on, so that you can change the level if you need to, but it’s still very fun.

I liked it a ton, but stick to page 1, because the games on the other pages take you to different websites. (Though I guess you might like them, how should I know? We tried one, and it wasn’t as good, because you have to go real fast, and I don’t like games that are timed.) Hope you like it, too!

# Backwards math

So I’m not usually really into math, but now that can just rest when it comes to this kind of math. Well, you can’t blame me — I mean I’m the one who invented it.

Basically my thing to do, in math anyway, is backwards math. It’s done down in the negatives. My mom wrote an article on how it happened, and a lot of people liked it.

Here’s a few samples of it:

$-15 - -10 = -5$

$-15+-10=-25$

$-6 \times -2=12$

That’s the three different kinds that I know. Times (the last one) I had to learn. It’s really hard to figure out what the answer is, if you don’t know how to do it.

You can teach backwards math to your kids to see if they like it better then normal math. They probably will — though you should think about the age of your student, because Mom said that it was pre-algebra work. Though that might be why I like it, because I like algebra, too.