# Math with Many Solutions Book

## Recommended Posts

So it’s a weirdly worded thread title but I’m looking for a book that’s more narrative in nature and presents a variety of math problems with several different solutions explained. Something like ‘You can find the area this way or that or think about it this way.’ I’d like to pick up this book and read it leisurely at bed time with my (11 yr old) daughter without stress and help her (re) develop some mathematical flexibility.

##### Share on other sites

I don't know of anything narrative, but Math Olympiad books have completed this objective in my house. There's often (usually?) multiple solutions in the back of the book, and doing them as a family, stressing the method sharing more than the answers. Hub and I too. I've put some on the whiteboard for the whole family this year too (hsing 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th). Immediately after discussing the answer we take turns explaining our method, using the whiteboard if needed. Math Olympiad competitions are geared for kids in 4th-6th, and the problems are more about thinking smarter than mathing harder. Anyone through long division has the skills to complete the problems.

Edited by SilverMoon
##### Share on other sites

Possibly:

- Math and Magic in Wonderland  (Mohr) -- I believe the author is a WTM-er! 😄
Math and Magic in Camelot (Mohr) -- sequel

- The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster)

- The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (Pappas)
- The Number Devil (Enzensberger)

- Life of Fred Intermediate levels -- probably not bedtime reading, but story-like in presentation, and shows variety in problem-solving

Edited by Lori D.
##### Share on other sites

The Singapore Dimensions 6 series often shows alternate ways of solving problems. This is the first time I’ve used Singapore dimensions, so I can only speak to level 6.

##### Share on other sites
On 10/17/2020 at 12:24 AM, Lori D. said:

Possibly:

- Math and Magic in Wonderland  (Mohr) -- I believe the author is a WTM-er! 😄
Math and Magic in Camelot (Mohr) -- sequel

- The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster)

- The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (Pappas)
- The Number Devil (Enzensberger)

- Life of Fred Intermediate levels -- probably not bedtime reading, but story-like in presentation, and shows variety in problem-solving

We have Penrose, Math Devil, & Phantom. We even have Murderous Maths. Alas, she has never taken to them. I can certainly try again!

I will look into your other titles. I so sorely wish she was still mesmerized by math like she used to be. Sigh. She’s only 11 so there is still hope!

##### Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Earthmerlin said:

We have Penrose, Math Devil, & Phantom. We even have Murderous Maths. Alas, she has never taken to them. I can certainly try again!

I will look into your other titles. I so sorely wish she was still mesmerized by math like she used to be. Sigh. She’s only 11 so there is still hope!

lol. Well, the math topics she is getting into now are different from a few years ago, so that might account for different interest level in math. And interests just change over time, from one subject to another... 😉

Not at all what you were looking for, BUT... the book Math Curse (Scieszka) is hilarious. 😄

Edited by Lori D.
##### Share on other sites

No help, but if anyone is planning on writing something like that, I'd like a book that already has the solutions in the question.

I see these cool visuals on facebook, for example the one of the clock face where every hour has a 9 in it - eg 9/9 is one, 9 with the square mark is 3 etc. It's fun because you're not trying to work out the answer, but the way to get there.

##### Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Earthmerlin said:

We have Penrose, Math Devil, & Phantom. We even have Murderous Maths. Alas, she has never taken to them. I can certainly try again!

I will look into your other titles. I so sorely wish she was still mesmerized by math like she used to be. Sigh. She’s only 11 so there is still hope!

Is she having trouble with any of it? What are you finding her being rigid about?

##### Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Is she having trouble with any of it? What are you finding her being rigid about?

It started in 3rd grade when she was timed on arithmetic at public school. She’s still working on math facts, in fact. I think that ‘perform on demand’ environment turned her off. However, she’s coming around slowly as she’s recently said math was getting a bit easier.

##### Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Earthmerlin said:

It started in 3rd grade when she was timed on arithmetic at public school. She’s still working on math facts, in fact. I think that ‘perform on demand’ environment turned her off. However, she’s coming around slowly as she’s recently said math was getting a bit easier.

Is that the focus? Math facts?

##### Share on other sites

Math facts are not the focus. Continuing to strengthen her facts fluency is important though. My main objective is a sense of comfort & confidence with math & flexibility in solving problems.

##### Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Earthmerlin said:

Math facts are not the focus. Continuing to strengthen her facts fluency is important though. My main objective is a sense of comfort & confidence with math & flexibility in solving problems.

Got it 🙂 . But is she mainly working on arithmetic?

##### Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Got it 🙂 . But is she mainly working on arithmetic?

Mainly, I suppose. I’m trying to rekindle mental flexibility & at least some level of pleasure with math. I can’t really acurately verbalize better than that for now.

##### Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Earthmerlin said:

Mainly, I suppose. I’m trying to rekindle mental flexibility & at least some level of pleasure with math. I can’t really acurately verbalize better than that for now.

I just wonder if she'd have more fun if she felt like she was learning something other than arithmetic 🙂 . Have you explored any fun mathematical diversions? Things like writing in binary, or modular arithmetic (like clock arithmetic), or just simply fun contest problems.

##### Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I just wonder if she'd have more fun if she felt like she was learning something other than arithmetic 🙂 . Have you explored any fun mathematical diversions? Things like writing in binary, or modular arithmetic (like clock arithmetic), or just simply fun contest problems.

Good ideas. We’ve touched on some more interesting mathematical ideas in the past. I can review such things again. Playing with math is definitely a priority. We also have played lots of math-based games (like Prime Climb & Sumoku).

##### Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Earthmerlin said:

Good ideas. We’ve touched on some more interesting mathematical ideas in the past. I can review such things again. Playing with math is definitely a priority. We also have played lots of math-based games (like Prime Climb & Sumoku).

Ah yeah, I like those, although the kids I my classes were super lukewarm on them!

You know what’s an amazing math game for small addition? 😄 Blackjack! And have you ever played Blockout?

Edited by Not_a_Number
##### Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Ah yeah, I like those, although the kids I my classes were super lukewarm on them!

You know what’s an amazing math game for small addition? 😄 Blackjack! And have you ever played Blockout?

Blackjack sounds like a good idea, especially she’s asked anout that game recently. I’ll look into Blockout too. Thanks.

##### Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Ah yeah, I like those, although the kids I my classes were super lukewarm on them!

You know what’s an amazing math game for small addition? 😄 Blackjack! And have you ever played Blockout?

Sorry but could you give more info. on Blockout? I donmt seem to get anything when I search online. Thanks.

##### Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Earthmerlin said:

Sorry but could you give more info. on Blockout? I donmt seem to get anything when I search online. Thanks.

It’s not that fancy, but it’s cute and a good visual multiplication aid:

##### Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

It’s not that fancy, but it’s cute and a good visual multiplication aid:

Oh, then yes I have seen this before. Thanks for the reminder.

##### Share on other sites

Based on a friend’s recommendation I ordered this book too. Has anyone worked with this?

##### Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eliana said:

We've tried a few math games (including blockout & some others from that site + the 4 in a row game from TWTM multiplication facts book), but this one is my son's favorite. (It's free, but you can buy a package with variants).

We're looking for more options along this line - things that feel like a real game, but are quick enough to be a good opener for our math lesson.

What would you like the game to teach?

Have you tried Prime Climb? It does feel like a real game. I tend to like things like Blockout since they illustrate a concept, but for pure calculation, this one is good.

##### Share on other sites
Just now, Eliana said:

My primary goal is for him to be playing with math, skills or concepts.  He's my kid who has been in a day school all along (the older kids were all homeschooled for most of their k-12 years), but is homeschooling this year.  He used to love playing with math, but lost that with uninspired math teaching in early elementary (he's in 5th grade now).

He's regaining his confidence already, but I'm hoping to help him rediscover his joy in working with numbers, equations, etc.

Finding the sweet spot where games are easy enough to not trigger fear of failure , but challenging enough to hold interest has been an ongoing project this year. (He's turned the one I linked into something almost Go-like).

I also want to keep encouraging him to try different approaches - something that he did naturally when younger, but stopped doing after being (kindly, gently) corrected for not doing problems the 'right' way. *sigh* ...and games are a comfortable place to do that, especially when I am doing it too.

Oh, that sounds very annoying. That kind of attitude to math is part of why we pulled our kiddo out of school 😞 .

I actually really like blackjack, lol, although addition might be too easy for him. And you can do easy probability and other kinds of logical reasoning for that. And it's fun 😄 . You could introduce negative numbers via the "betting"... I was gonna do that with my homeschool class.

Another game that we have that feels like a game is Sumoku 🙂 . But do take a look at Prime Climb if you haven't yet!

##### Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Eliana said:

If there weren't a pandemic, we'd still have him in school despite the challenges and downsides.  (it's complicated, but a combination of religious learning needs & social needs, he's on the spectrum & building friendships means a lot to him, but is harder than average - and these boys are ones he's been close to since pre-K.  ...and I'm not qualified to teach him Gemara at the level he's going to need (he has a tutor who comes to our porch twice a week right now.).

I totally understand that there are trade offs 🙂 . I hope I didn't sound critical!

ETA: do you want me to take a picture of our Prime Climb? It's not really a complicated game to make for free 😉 .

Edited by Not_a_Number
##### Share on other sites

Back to an 11yo girl and sharing a book together... maybe the Danica McKellar books? The prealg one likely. She's girly, fun, and totally into math. It might not have the many solutions thing, but it could lead to more math appreciation.

##### Share on other sites
On 10/26/2020 at 1:37 PM, SilverMoon said:

Back to an 11yo girl and sharing a book together... maybe the Danica McKellar books? The prealg one likely. She's girly, fun, and totally into math. It might not have the many solutions thing, but it could lead to more math appreciation.

I ordered the one about middle school math.

##### Share on other sites
On 10/25/2020 at 11:59 PM, Eliana said:

Yes, please!  That would be so lovely!  I would hate to spend \$ on something that ends up not being a hit & in this area it's been hard to tell what will click.

Will do!! Remind me if I forget. I'll try to do it today.

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.