Problems of the Month provide five different activities addressing a variety of mathematical areas. Each activity focuses on specific math concepts and begin at a Level A (challenging for 2nd to 3rd graders) and build up to a Level E (challenging for HS students). Instructions and student masters are provided for each activity and level. The primary focus of the activities is to encourage problem solving skills. The activities are well-written and provide appropriately leveled challenges. Alignment with Common Core State Standards is provided. Students are expected to discuss and justify their solutions. Although answer keys are not provided, student discussion should lead to appropriate solutions.
8.G.1: Level C, D, and E Task The problem of the month asks the student to use spatial reasoning to make sense of part of a visual image. In level C, a student works with the inverse challenge. The student is given visual images of the unfolded square piece of paper that has been folded a number of times and holes have been cut. The student must determine how many folds were required and how the cut was made.
8.G.2: Level B and D Task Students understand that a two-dimensional figure is congruent to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, and translations; given two congruent figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the congruence between them.
8.G.2, 8.G.4: Level D This task challenges a student to make a table and use guess-and-check. A student uses a set of three different tiles. A rectangular tile is constructed with the length, the size of the larger tile, and the width the size of the smaller tile. A student must create all the possible configurations which can be made using 6 large squares, 4 small squares, and an unlimited number of rectangles.
8.G.4: Level C and D This task challenges a student to investigate a complex geometric situation involving angles and side lengths. Students need to try enough cases and variety of cases to see patterns about the number of numbers in a sequence, the relationships of the numbers in the sequence, and the pattern that will be produced.