It amazed me to discover yesterday that the last time I posted about Math Pickle was in 2011. This is a great resource for challenging those mathematical wizards in your class, and I really need to access it more often myself.
“We learn best through hard fun,” is a quote that you will find on the Math Pickle website. And there are many “hard fun” puzzles and conundrums to bewilder students of all age levels.
If this is your first time visiting Math Pickle, then I would recommend you click on the link for K-12 Video Support. From there you can click on any grade level or math skill for a grid of suggested activities. Some of the activities are videos, while others include Powerpoint, Keynote, and even PDF worksheets.
My 2nd graders did the “Termite Terrorists” activity yesterday, and I really enjoyed watching them work through some of the puzzles. The included video is meant more to explain the activity to the teacher, but I actually showed the beginning to my students so they could see the lovely introduction that included the disgusting termites;) This lesson lent itself to differentiation so easily because the students who made it through a puzzle could go on to another one that was a bit more difficult. Their conversations and strategies were varied and fascinating. We were amazed by some of the different solutions that could be found for the same problem. Since I actually didn’t look at any answers (and not all are provided), the students had fun trying to “beat” my lowest number on each challenge – and they often did!
Another wonderful resource on the site is the Curricular Puzzle Books link. It includes free materials for Grades 1-6, and even includes a student-created puzzle book.
There are lots of other areas to explore on the site, including recommended board games. Gordon Hamilton has done a fabulous service to the education community by providing so many great challenges and resources for free. You can find out more about the amazing creator of this site, who also happens to be a board game designer, here. If you can’t get enough hard fun from the Math Pickle website, check out Gordon Hamilton’s Teachers Pay Teachers site for additional puzzles available for purchase.