Keep Sharp with a Problem of the Day

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Keep Sharp with a Problem of the Day
At Spirit of Math Schools, we love our POWs (Problem of the Week). Our POWs come in many forms, but they call have the same goal in mind: to get students to use their logical thinking skills to work through complex concepts and problems.

“I have two coins that add up to 6 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What is the other one?” 
“Garfield began reading “Math is Fun” at the top of page three. He read ten pages. On what page did he finish reading?” 

These are just two examples of some of the POWs we pose to grade 1-4 students in our program. These thought-provoking problems are designed to get students to challenge their advanced critical thinking skills. Giving your high-performing family members a “problem of the day” is a great way to create a competitive and fun atmosphere at home, and provides an intense mental workout. Here are some great resources to find your very own POWs  so you can challenge your eager young minds on a daily basis:

Mathematics Competitions 
Mathematics competitions are held throughout the world, and serve as a way for students to showcase their knowledge and see where their skills stack up against their peers. Many math competitions have some of the problems they use in their previous events available for free online. Math problems taken from the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest, the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad and other competitions make for great problem of the day questions. Check out this question posed to grade 7-8 participants in the 2016 Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest that you can challenge your young one with: 

Spirit of Math Competition Book 
As part of our Releasing the Genius® series of Spirit of Math publications,  our Competition Book series – a collection of problems and solutions designed to help students prepare for national and international mathematics competitions – also make a great source for daily problems to challenge high-performing minds in Grade 1 to 4. 

Post-Secondary Institutions
The mathematics departments of many post-secondary institutions offer their own problems of the day/week. The University of Waterloo is home to one of Canada’s most prestigious undergraduate mathematics programs. Check out their Problem of the Week page to see a wide range of problems and solutions for students in grades 3 and up. 

Where do you get your problem of the day from? Be sure to Engage and share your thoughts with the Spirit of Math community! 
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