Cat and Mice
Purrer has decided to take a nap. He dreams he is encircle by 13 mice: 12 gray and 1 white. He hears his owner saying: “Purrer, you are to eat each thirteenth mouse, keeping the same direction. The last mouse you eat must be the white one.”
Our homeschool co-op held an end-of-semester assembly. Each class was supposed to demonstrate something they had learned. I planned to set up a static display showing some of our projects, like the fractal pop-up card and the game of Nim, but the students voted to do a skit based on the logic puzzles of Raymond Smullyan.
We had a small class (only four students), but you can easily divide up the lines make room for more players. We created signs from half-sheets of poster board with each native’s line on front and whether she was a knight or knave on the flip side. In the course of a skit, there isn’t enough time to really think through the puzzles, so the audience had to vote based on first impressions — which gave us a fair showing of all opinions on each puzzle.
I love Dover books, don’t you? They publish so-o-o-o-o many interesting titles at reasonable prices. I always have several Dover books on my wishlist, waiting for my next free gift card from Swagbucks.
And that’s only the beginning. Below, I’ve listed a wide variety of math-related links collected from past samplers (though be warned: Dover does change its page links from time to time). Download, print, enjoy!
These puzzles are called soriteses or polysyllogisms. Carroll began with a series of “if this, then that” statements. He rewrote them to make them more confusing, and then he mixed up the order to create a challenging puzzle.
Given each set of premises, what conclusion can you reach?
Are you looking for creative ways to help your children study math? Even without a workbook or teacher’s manual, your kids can learn a lot about numbers. Just spend an afternoon playing around with a hundred chart (also called a hundred board or hundred grid).
Remember the Math Adventurer’s Rule: Figure it out for yourself! Whenever I give a problem in an Alexandria Jones story, I will try to post the answer soon afterward. But don’t peek! If I tell you the answer, you miss out on the fun of solving the puzzle. So if you haven’t worked these problems yet, go back to the original posts. Figure them out for yourself — and then check the answers just to prove that you got them right.
While checking out the book table after a homeschool group meeting, Maria Jones glanced up to see her children laughing with some kids she did not recognize. Driving home, she asked about the new family, but Alex and Leon had been too busy exchanging silly stories to even ask the strangers’ names.
“Well,” Leon said, “the boy told me he has twice as many sisters as brothers.”
No way!” said Alex. “The girl told me that she has the same number of brothers and sisters.”
Leonhard Jones is Alexandria Jones’s younger brother. He enjoys woodworking, and he cut a wooden cube into 8 smaller blocks to make himself a puzzle.
Leon painted the 8 blocks with his two favorite colors: red and forest green. When he was finished, Leon could put the blocks together into a red cube, or he could switch them around to make a green cube.
If you enjoy Raymond Smullyan’s The Lady or the Tiger and similar puzzles, you will probably have fun with this Logic test, posted by JD2718. JD has a wide variety of other math puzzles at his site, so take the time to browse a bit.
I want to tell you a story. Everyone likes a story, right? But at the heart of my story lies a confession that I am afraid will shock many readers. People assume that because I teach math, blog about math, give advice about math on internet forums, and present workshops about teaching math — because I do all this, I must be good at math.
Apply logic to that statement. The conclusion simply isn’t valid.
I have been reading up on Charlotte Mason’s teaching style, and I plan to incorporate more copywork and dictation into our school program next year. Here are a few of my favorite funny quotes about math. (These would also make great blackboard quotes for a math classroom.)