National Brain Training Week

In observance of National Brain Training Week (June 11-17, 2011) here are a couple of books that will give you and your students a good brain work out. What better way to put your mind through the paces than with number puzzles?

First let’s ponder the challenges in magic squares. In Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Numbers Seymour S. Block and Santiago A. Taveres take readers on an engaging tour through time from the earliest appearance of the magic square (some 4,000 years ago in Ancient China) through modern times.

While Before Sudoku is more appropriate for high school students and adults, younger students will enjoy reading Ben Franklin and the Magic Square by Frank Murphy.

Benjamin Franklin’s Numbers: An Unsung Mathematical Odyssey by Paul C. Pasels may be most appropriate for the mathematicians among us.

Teaching Tip
Try this Magic Square Generator students can use to create puzzles to share. Or select one of these classroom ready worksheets of magic squares built from whole numbers, fractions or decimal numbers.

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