The latest craze to hit most schools around the country are those little rubber bands, that when not stretched form some sort of animal or object.  While I have seen many Silly Bands on the wrists of Lincoln students these days, I have also seen the kids go absolutely CRAZY over a new type of math puzzle that I introduced to them last week.  These puzzles, called KenKen, are Sudoku Puzzles with a twist- as one of my students recently said, they are Soduko Puzzles on vitamins!  Indeed they are, KenKen is the latest CRAZE at Lincoln, far more popular than Silly Bands will ever be!  Students at Lincoln are excited about math and trying to solve the increasing complex KenKen puzzles.

Read about KenKen creator Tetsuya Miyamoto!

After introducing KenKen to my students, I noticed something strange happening.  Students started showing up early for math class and asking for more and more KenKen puzzles to solve.  I showed all of my students the website and the 4x4 to 9x9 KenKen puzzles online.  They went CRAZY and ask to spend time every math class working on the puzzles.  A student last week asked if we could create our own KenKen puzzles for other students to solve- and of course, I said YES! I searched the internet and found Mr. L's math page in which he had his class created KenKen puzzles for other students to solve [KenKen Construction – Building Puzzles in the Classroom].  He has some nice resources on his page for solving 3x3 puzzles and 4x4 puzzles. Some other cool stuff on Mr. L's blog- Games and Puzzles that Reach the Kids and Teach the Standards.  Have fun and get your students involved in the KenKen craze!
Mr. K

I saw this amazing story on CNN and had to share it with all of my students.  The show featured a man named Salman Khan who started out by helping his nieces, who lived miles and miles away in New Orleans, with their math homework.  Salman created videos of math concepts (here is one on basic addition) that he posted on YouTube for them to learn math through his examples and lessons.  Some 1600 videos later he created the Khan Academy which is an ever-growing library of math (and science) videos that are free to the world (WOW!).  Make sure to checkout the Khan Academy and try his new (Alpha) Khan Excerise Application (dashboard) which keeps track of which modules and playlists you have completed and your proficiency.  This is a great way to learn math concepts you are unfamiliar with or ones that you need a little more practice.
Check out this video on adding and subtracting negative numbers

Click here to access the Problem of the Week.
What is Jing?  It is a web 2.0 tool that adds visuals to online conversations.You can snap a picture of your screen and also record a video to share instantly with classmates over the web.

The fifth graders at Lincoln used Jing to explain step by step how to solve various Algebra problems.
I will be adding some of their work below in the weeks to come.