Month: March 2011

A Cool Math Trick!

Suppose you’re trying to schedule an upcoming event and you need to know the day of the week that this event will occur on. Can you do that in your head?

Sure you can! You just need to know this little trick! (Brought to us by Stephen C. Tan.)

I found this while looking through some articles at

Ultimate Mental Math Trick

Can you tell the day for any date without a calendar at hand? Is that really possible?

It is actually a simple skill that any one can learn. It is also very practical as you may always consider your availability for an activity or an event or you just need to know the day of anyone’s birthday. All you need is a little bit of practice, then you can quickly and easily tell the day of the week of practically any date in history or in the future.

Here’s the Secret

You may need to memorize some codes to learn this trick, but they are very easy to remember.

First, we assign a code number to every day of the week.

Monday – 1

Tuesday – 2

Wednesday – 3

Thursday – 4

Friday – 5

Saturday – 6

Sunday – 7 or 0

Second, we assign a code number for every month of the year. These month codes are used for every year with two exceptions. In a leap year, the month code for January is 5 and for February is 1. The month codes with the corresponding mnemonics are as follows:

January – 6 (WINTER has 6 letters)

February – 2 (2nd month)

March – 2 (You march with 2 feet)

April – 5 (APRIL has 5 letters)

May – 0 (MAY0 for mayonnaise)

June – 3 (JUN has 3 letters)

July – 5 (JULIE has 5 letters)

August – 1 (August begins with an A, the 1st letter)

September – 4 (SEPT has 4 letters)

October – 6 (Halloween TRICKS or TREATS have 6 letters each)

November – 2 (2nd last month)

December – 4 (XMAS has 4 letters)

Third, we assign a code number for every year. For example, the year code for 2011 is 6.

The Formula

Day of the week = (Month code + Date + Year Code) mod 7

Note: mod 7 indicates the remainder you get when you divide by 7.


What is the day for July 16, 2011?

Day of the week = (Month code + Date + Year Code) mod 7

Day of the week = (5 + 16 + 6) mod 7 = 27 mod 7 = 6 (Therefore, it’s a Saturday)

What is the day for December 25, 2011?

Day of the week = (Month code + Date + Year Code) mod 7

Day of the week = (4 + 25 + 6) mod 7 = 35 mod 7 = 0 (Therefore, it’s a Sunday)

Hooray! With constant practice, you are now ready to be the walking calendar. Amaze your friends, colleagues, students, teachers and everyone else.

For further information on how to find the year code of any year, check out my blog at

You’ll need to visit Stephen’s blog to get the code for other years, but it’s a very cool trick! Don’t you agree?

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Math at Easter-Time

The holidays can be lots of fun for children. Not just because they get candy and gifts, but because they also get off from school!

But just because they’re off from school, doesn’t mean that you can’t still help them learn math!

Teresa Evans wrote a nice article for which helps you take advantage of Easter and teach your children math while still making it fun.

Easter Math Is Fun Math

Easter is an exciting time for kids. But the good thing is that you can use that excitement to help kids develop their math skills. Turning regular math into Easter math makes math much, much more exciting. You can use Easter math games or Easter Brain Teasers and the kids will beg you for more.

Below are some simple ways that you use Easter math in the classroom or at home.

Bunny Hop
Here is a simple Easter math game that you can use to practice any basic math skill. You start by selecting a start line and a finish line. Next two children compete to jump from the start to the finish by taking two bunny hops every time they answer a question correctly. You can use any questions that help kids to practice the skill that you want. For example you could ask ‘6 times 8’, ‘half of 34’ or ‘What is the number before 87’? The first child to answer correctly takes two jumps and the first one to reach the finish line is the winner.

Easter Counting
You may know the old favorite counting game Buzz. But did you know that you can easily turn this into an Easter math game by replacing the word ‘Buzz’ with an Easter word. Try using ‘Bunny’ or ‘Easter Egg’ instead. The kids sit in a circle and count around a circle but replace the number 7, each multiple of 7 and every number containing a 7 digit with the word ‘Bunny’. If a child says the number instead of saying ‘Bunny’ they are out.

This is a tricky game that requires concentration and a good knowledge of multiples. You can also try playing it with other digits instead of 7. For example, you could use 5 or 10 for an easier version or use 8 or 9 to make a more challenging version.

Easter Brain Teasers
Brain teasers are a great way to get kids thinking math. Many number problems can also be made a lot more interesting by using Easter as a theme for the problem. Here are a few that you can start with.

The Easter Bunny has 15 Easter Eggs in a Basket. He gives our 3 then collects 7 more then gives 6 children 2 eggs each. How many eggs in the basket now?
You can easily change the numbers in this one and then have a completely new problem to present.

Tom has been dyeing eggs. He used green and red dye. If he has dyed 17 eggs and he has 5 more red eggs than green eggs. How many eggs does he have of each color?

How many eggs did I find in the Egg Hunt? I found between 10 and 30. The number is divisible by 4 but not by 7 or 8. I found an even number of eggs.

There are many different ways to use Easter math get kids adding, multiplying, comparing and using other math skills. You’ll find that kids will definitely agree that Easter makes math loads more fun.

Terese Evans is a teacher and parent who uses games to get kids excited about learning. She shares her favorite Kids Easter Activities including Easter worksheets, board games, card games and game sheets at You can receive your own printable Easter Activities for Kids when you visit

While the kids may all agree, I know that I certainly do too!

Have a great Springtime and Easter (if you celebrate it)!



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Is There Such A Thing As A Math Genius?

We all have our things that we’re good at right? What about math? Are you good at math? Could you sit down for 5 hours straight and recite each succeeding number of pi up into the 22,000 digit range – all from memory?

If your name was Daniel Tammet you could!

Check out this video of a true math genius!

Math Genius

Wow! Now that’s a true math genius!

Have a great day in math!



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Mathematics and Games – The Fun Way to Learn Math

Games are usually something that everyone likes. Even more so with children. So if you’re trying to get a child to learn math, doesn’t it just make sense to use some games to help them along in their education?

I think it does. And so does Gregory Tucker who wrote the following article which can be found on

Math Games to Make – Learning Math the Fun Way

Math can be difficult and even frightening at times for many students. If you’re a parent or teacher, phrases like “I hate math” or “I just don’t get these fractions”, are unfortunately, far too common! But then again, this is the real world of math teaching and math learning!

A great way to help your child develop their math skills is by adding a little fun to the equation. Using tangible ways to demonstrate skills such as fractions, as well as providing entertaining opportunities for practice and application, is half the battle!

Making Your Own Math Games is Easy

I’ll share with you several fraction math games to make, that are a lot of fun and cost little or nothing out of your pocket! Keep in mind that you can create similar games for learning all kinds of math skills! All that’s required are some helpful manipulatives to create or buy such as fractional circles, bars, squares or number lines. Also, the Internet has many great sites where you can obtain fractional and other math templates to use for free.

One great thing about these games is that you and your students are probably already familiar with the original versions of the games. This makes your job a lot easier because learning how to play the game is not a big deal, since most players have seen or played the original game. This way, kids can get into the game quicker and start building fraction skills even faster!

Concentration Games

In order to make an easy Concentration type game, you create sets of fraction word cards and their corresponding picture cards. Students lay out the sets of cards face down. Then, they take turns choosing two cards to try to find matches. If a match is found, they keep their matched cards and their turn continues. If not, they turn the cards back over and the next player continues by searching for matches. For instance a player would have a match if they turned over the fractional words two-thirds and a picture that showed two-thirds shaded on a card. The winner is the person who has the greatest number of cards.

Bingo Games

Another really easy fraction math game to make is Fraction Bingo, which is played like the original version but with fraction cards instead of numbers. As the “Caller” calls out fractional words, each player tries to cover that fraction if pictured on their card. Players can use beads, coins, buttons, Unifix cubes, or other small objects to cover the spaces on their cards. The winner is the first person to cover all spaces on a card and s/he becomes the next Caller.

War Games

Lastly, to play Fractions War, you will need a set of flash cards with fractional amounts written on them, such as 1/3, 2/3, 1/8, 5/8, or 7/8. The cards are dealt equally between players who face each other. Students “play” their card by putting down the top card from their hand and their opponent does the same. Then, they compare fractions to see which card is greater in value. The holder of the larger fractional amount collects the cards played. The play continues in this fashion until two equivalent fractions are turned over and they must have “War!” Players each turn over their next four cards as they proclaim “I-DE-CLARE-WAR!” Then, those final cards are compared and the holder of the card showing the larger fraction wins that round. The player to acquire all the cards or the greatest amount by a designated time limit is the winner. A variation of this would be to create fraction cards showing operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication or division and provide individual marker boards for students to complete operations and then determine which fraction is larger.

Great Math Learning Tool for Parents and Teachers

Learning fractions in math doesn’t have to be frightening and complicated for students any longer. Concentration, Bingo, and War are just three of the many fun math games to make that help educators, tutors, and parents teach math in a more creative and engaging way! Consider how much fun they can have while working in small groups to practice their skills. Best of all, using games is not intimidating to students like the prospect of turning in another worksheet to the scrutiny of the marking pencil!

Gregory Tucker is the owner of, a one-stop hub for parents and teachers where you’ll find all kinds of free math games and activities to help kids of all ages become successful math students. You will find a variety of math games to make that students will love!

Mr. Tucker offers some good game ideas, doesn’t he? You can take this a step further and try creating some math games of your own. Just remember to keep it fun and your student will soon find that learning math can indeed be fun!

Until next time! Cheers.



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