## Archive for June 16, 2012

Before school let out for the summer, every student in Eli’s class made a Father’s Day gift for their dads. When I arrived home today, I found my gift in a lunch bag with the following note stapled to it:

(Eli signed his name. The rest of the note was written by his teacher as Eli dictated the message.)

Truth be known, Eli and Alex never win because I let them win. Sure, I may occasionally misplay a turn, but I don’t just tank an entire game on purpose. (On the flip side, I never deliberately cheat just to beat them, either, even though I could totally get away with it.) Primarily, I think kids know when you’re letting them win, and I believe it sends the message that you think they’re not capable of winning on their own. I also agree with psychologist Sara Diemerman who says, “There’s nothing like winning fair and square to make a kid feel terrific.”

I recently did a Game Night for the Northern Virginia Math Teachers Circle. During that meeting, participants played the following game:

Player A chooses an integer from 2 to 9 inclusive. Then Player B multiplies Player A’s number by any integer from 2 to 9, then Player A multiplies the result by any integer from 2 to 9, and so on. The first player to get a result greater than 1000 wins.

Have fun figuring out the winning strategy for that game.

As part of our Father’s Day activities, I plan to teach this game to Eli and Alex. But they’re going to have to earn their victories.

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

## MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.