Session Description: This is your opportunity to join an elite corps of highly trained mathematical mentors. Real students from around the world send the Math Forum their solutions to challenging math problems. Volunteer mentors write back to students, starting a mathematical conversation. Come learn the skills involved in being a math mentor, and the impact you could have on the next generation of mathematical problem-solvers.


Today we’re going to write some replies to students who submitted answers to the problem Stacking Wood, a problem targeted at middle school students. We’ll start by solving the problem and talking about the mathematics involved and thinking about the sorts of mistakes that kids might make when solving the problem.

Read Stacking Wood

Preparing to Mentor

  1. Solve the problem.
  2. Talk about the mathematics concepts involved.
  3. Think about the sorts of mistakes that students might make.

Let’s Try It!

  1. Read Lily’s submission and write a reply together: Lily
  2. Read Jacob’s submission and each group writes a reply: Jacob
  3. Write a reply to a student or two with your partner: More Student Solutions

Next Steps?