It’s funny for me to be writing a blog post in response to an article about recreational math. I am after all the most mathematically challenged person in the universe. My children realized by about fourth grade that they had already surpassed me. When students ask what they need to make on a test to get an A in my class, I tell them they will have to do that math themselves.
But enough about my math challenges. I was surprised to see in the article the name Martin Gardner and to discover that he was famous in the math world for creating elaborate puzzles. I, of course, know Martin Gardner as the editor of the annotated Alice in Wonderland.
And it makes perfect sense that as a mathematician, Martin Gardner would be interested in Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll taught mathematics and logic at Oxford.
But the more important connection between Gardner and Carroll is their love of puzzles and play, their belief that learning should be fun. Perhaps if I had played more mathematical games, I would have less trouble now adding up my students’ grades. And I certainly hope, as the article suggests, that recreational mathematics will find a place in the Common Core.
Caroline is an avid reader, children's writer, and teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and dog. Check out her bio for more!