[FoRK] basic number theory

mattj at newsblip.com < mattj at newsblip.com > on > Thu Aug 3 09:11:54 PDT 2006

Quoting Corinna <corinna.schultz at gmail.com>:

> So is there a single name for this class of problems? What should I   
>  search for,
> or  what kind of books might be useful for this level of work (like Martin
> Gardner, or the Scientific American puzzles, but those are too hard!)

I think the Gardner/SciAm category is what you want, namely
"recreational mathematics" on the web, and "mathematical recreations"  
in the Library of Congress.  And if you get too many hits, narrow it  
to "Mathematical recreations -- Juvenile literature."

One great book for that age, which I happened to catch on the "new  
arrivals" shelf, is "Go Figure!", by Johnny Ball.
Very, very fun.

Also, "G is for Google" is fun to read together, though it doesn't  
have activities like "Go Figure!".

> Concurrent with this, I will continue doing Turtle problems,

You know, I've been looking for a cheap turtle!  The only ones I've
seen have been > $100.

> As a side question, what are kids these days learning in school?

I've mentioned it before on FoRK, but I strongly suggest you check out
the TAGFAM and TAGMAX lists.  TAGFAM is general-purpose, and TAGMAX is
for homeschoolers, but there's overlap.  Your question about what kids
are learning in school today reminds me of a thread there last week
where they discussed the use of linear programming in pre-calculus
(via graphical solutions), and how that is different than in our day.

If you have a curious kid, and doubly so if you homeschool, the lists
out there (TAGFAM, TAGMAX, GT, etc.) are extremely useful. :-)

Matt Jensen

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