Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-12, Math, Teaching Tools, Websites

Math Pickle Revisited

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.

Math Pickle

“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.

Check out the Math Pickle Termite Terrorists Challenges here!
Check out the Math Pickle Termite Terrorists Challenges here!

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.

6 thoughts on “Math Pickle Revisited”

  1. Terri – Thank you so much for such a warm and expansive review. Because of your recommendation I’m now trying MangaHigh which seems, on first exploration, to be an exceptionally well thought out administrative site with awesome graphics and games that cover curriculum, but don’t explore the beauty of the mathematics itself. It is exactly the type of group that I should collaborate with in order to get technologically more advanced 😉 I’m visiting the American Institute of Mathematics in a week and a half – they want to create an awesome website for teachers so a bunch of us are flying in to brainstorm. MangaHigh has got me thinking. Thank you again. Warmest wishes.

    1. I can’t even express how much I love Math Pickle! My students were trying the Mimizu puzzles last week and one of them was flying through. I’ve never seen him so animated and excited about math!

      I actually haven’t used MangaHigh in awhile. Quite honestly, your challenges appeal more to me pedagogically 🙂 AIM is smart to get your input on their new website!

      1. Terri – can I quote you?
        MathPickle is not financially sustainable which is why I went on Teachers pay Teachers. That looks like a great community, but somehow isn’t working for me. Do you think average US teachers would appreciate MathPickle or is it either too intimidating or is there a perception it would take too much prep time?

      2. Of course you can quote me – though that wasn’t the most eloquent thing I have ever said! I teach gifted students, so I can’t speak for the typical U.S. classroom teacher who is a bit more restricted curriculum-wise. I certainly don’t see your site as intimidating, but I’m allergic to using a textbook to teach so you probably shouldn’t ask for my advice:)

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