## Would You Rather Be My Valentine or Do a Few Math Problems?

UPDATE 1/26/2021 – Here is my up-to-date Wakelet collection of Valentine’s Day resources.

Earlier this month, I saw a post by Richard Byrne that led me to this great site of mathematical “Would You Rather” problems. Â John Stevens (@JStevens009) is the clever man who creates these mathematical challenges, and I love the thinking that is required to solve the questions he poses. Â I tried a few with my 3rd graders, and they were hooked. Â Many of the problems, though, require a little more advanced math knowledge than generally possessed by 8-year-olds, so I thought about penning a few of my own. Â Since Valentine’s Day is closing in, I decided to go with that theme. Â I asked John if he minded me borrowing his idea, and he generously gave me the go-ahead.

The rule I give my students for these problems is that they must prove their answer using mathematical reasoning. Â They are allowed to use the internet to research and/or do some hands-on measurements. Â It’s possible that they may be able to justify completely different answers. Â For example, on the one about the pound of chocolate, they might choose the lower amount instead of the higher because they are not huge fans of chocolate – though that seems to be rather rare.

I don’t know if you have ever heard kids playing the actual “Would You Rather” game, but it can get a little disgusting. Â They seem to enjoy the gross questions, so I threw one into this series for the sake of low entertainment ðŸ˜‰

Feel free to use the Google Presentation, this Powerpoint file, or this PDF.

For more Valentine-related links, check out this post!

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## Questimate

Questimate is a free mathematics app available for the iPad on iTunes. Â The free version only allows you to reach a certain point, offering in-app purchases that allow you to purchase more “quests.” Â There is also a Pro version that is \$7.99 on the app store, but \$3.99 for educators. Â If you visit this page, you can get information for requesting a sample of the Pro version.

I first saw Questimate on the Technology Tidbits blog, and downloaded it immediately so I could try it later. Â I do this a lot – and then I forget that I downloaded the app. Â Then my daughter, who gets all of the apps I download on my personal device on her device as well, will say, “Hey, mom, what’s this app for?” Â And then I (instead of admitting I have no idea) use my best teacher voice to say, “Well, why don’t you try it to see what happens?” Â It doesn’t take very long for her to tell me if the app is a waste of time.

That didn’t happen with Questimate.Â  I started playing it by myself, and after I cheered a couple of times when I got something right, my husband drifted over to see what was going on. Â Then my daughter entered the room, and pretty soon we were all giving input. Â That’s when I decided that I definitely needed to feature Questimate for Fun Friday this week!

Questimate allows you to design your own estimation questions using their supplied options. Â I’ve loaded a sequence of pictures below in a slideshow to show you the process for one question. Â Once you create a question, you are given a screen for making your guess. Â In this example, you use the number-line to choose. Â Some of the other questions have you type in a number or actually resize pictures to show the general comparison between two objects.

You have 3 lives in a quest, and your estimate has to be within a certain target range of the correct answer in order to not “lose a life.” Â You can earn points that can be used for various helpful hints during the game.

Questimate is fun, offers choice, and is educational. Â It can be played in “Solo”, “Pass & Play”, and “Game Center” Â versions. Â Variations to choose from, even the Free version of the game should keep you engaged for quite a long time.

Questimate would be great as a center activity or as a fun game to project for the whole class. Â It’s pretty good for family entertainment, too!

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## QAMA

QAMA is one of those brilliant products that you will wish you invented. Â It stands for, “Quick Approximate Mental Arithmetic” and also happens to mean, in Hebrew, “How much?” Â This is a very appropriate name, then, for a special kind of calculator that makes you work for your answers. Â Instead of immediately giving you the solution to an equation, QAMA is programmed to give you the answer only when you enter a close estimate. Â On the page where the Aim of QAMA is described, it is explained that, “The QAMA calculator should notÂ be seen as an aid for occasional estimation practice sessions: Students should each have their own QAMA calculator so that they use itÂ routinely and exclusivelyÂ – every time they perform a calculation:Â  in the math classes, science classes and labs, and also at home: It should become second nature to always engage their head when performing calculations.”

One QAMA calculator is \$19.60. Â You can use the calculator in 2 different modes – as a “regular” calculator, or in EST mode. Â Teachers (and parents) can easily see which mode the student is using, as there is a blinking light that shows when the EST mode is turned off.

I think that QAMA is a wonderful idea. Â Honestly, I would like to see an app developed that would work the same way. Â This gives students the opportunity to use technology while they continue to develop their own problem solving skills.