Day 36 (of 184) the importance of frustration (yes there is a connection to math)

Day 36 (of 184) the importance of frustration

Zones of frustration are usually good to avoid. Students reading in a level of frustration over time does not lead to improvement. Likewise with most (all) subjects and environments.

Unless the frustration is intentional. Recreational math, however, follows the work of Trevor Calkins and others who encourage working on problems that may include frustration – and then providing the time for them to get ‘out’ of frustration….

Q1: how can you add eight 8s to get the number 1,000 (only use addition)

Q2: two fathers and two sons sat down to eat eggs for breakfast. They ate exactly three eggs, each person had an egg. Explain how?

Q3: what digit is the most frequent between 1 & 1000 inclusive? Least?

While I do t want to keep the students in frustration (suspense?) too long – there is a great value in taking time to work on multiple solutions to questions.

The goal of my Recreational Math classes is to become a better mathematician without focusing strictly on the computational parts of numeracy. Numbers are nice but mathematics are beautiful (and I’m a literacy guy!)


A1: 888+88+8+8

A2: a grandfather eating breakfast with his son, and his sons son…

A3: as the digits 0-9 all follow the same pattern (and patterns can be so beautiful that they can seem magical) there is exactly 1 occurrence for every ten numbers – however, 1-9 also make appearances in the tens and hundreds places – so 0 appears the least (192 occurrences) and the addition of 1000 means that the digit 1 appears (ironically) one more time than digits 2-9 (301 vs 300 occurrences)

Is this hard? Can be at first – especially if you only see math as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Math is so much more than those four calculatory terms! Please, look or the beauty in math every day!

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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