Fun with Math

More open-minded problems from math teacher Greg Sparks

Open-ended math problems are fun, engaging, and children can be successful.

Try these with your family. Remember to always talk through the answers. It’s vitally important that children have the opportunity and encouragement to discuss the steps and strategies they used. Talking about math deepens our understanding of math.

Emmy flipped open a book. “Wow” she thought. “The page number I landed on is the total of my age, my brother’s age and our house number!” How old is Emmy, her brother and what is her house number?  What page did she land on?

What weighs about the same as 100 erasers?

I have seven coins in my hand. At least three of the coins are the same. How much money do I have? What is the largest and smallest amount of money I could have?

Greg went to pick up the takeout food. He paid with two $20s and he had almost $3.00 change. He ordered more than three dishes. How many dishes did he order and how much did they each cost? What was the total cost of the order?

Sort into at least two groups: an eraser, an orange, a coffee cup, a pencil, a leaf, a basket, a hose, a watch and a cookie.

What could you do to this list of numbers?   13, 3, 6, 11, 4, 9, 2

Tanya had the answer “242” on her calculator. How did she get that?

How long is it until you go to bed… in minutes!

Bill and Alex need to carry 95 ping pong balls to school. How many bags will they need?

Do fun math activities daily and your children will develop positive attitudes towards math.

Everyone can participate and everyone has great strategies for problem solving.

Children may even start creating their own math questions!

Encourage your children to make up their own questions, and feel free to submit them to me.

Please email: with any question, comments or suggestions.