A consistently popular post on this blog is ‘Lovely Puzzles‘ which has links to many puzzle sites which include mathematical puzzles. This seems a good time of year to investigate some of these further. A good puzzle for Christmas Eve perhaps (or any day!) would be ‘Make 24’.
Can you make 24? You must use all the numbers once and you are allowed the four operations and brackets.
(Further information and solutions for Make 24 and other Number puzzles are listed on the Number page on Mathematics Games). Number puzzles like this can make excellent starters.
Other possibilities for puzzle-type lesson starters come from Erich Friedman who has a variety of Mathematical Puzzles; try his Weird Calculator Puzzles for example or these Number Formation Puzzles both of which would make ideal ‘Bell Work‘.
Another great collection comes from Simon Tatham, I have been enjoying his ‘Untangle’ puzzles (which I must remember for the next time I teach Graphs in Decision Mathematics!); it is possible to change the number of nodes – use the Type menu.
Whilst many teachers use Suduko and Kenken type puzzles (note that teachers can sign up to receive free weekly KenKen puzzles), perhaps less familiar is Rogo which is very easy to learn.
This post has taken some considerable time to write as I have been very happily distracted by all these lovely puzzles – including joining the dots (from Conceptis Puzzles) something I used to love doing as a child!