Problems for Classroom Use
Where can I find problems for my students to try?
Our Problems of the Week service provides current problems in four subject
areas: Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Algebra, and Math Fundamentals
(grades 3 - 5). The problems are paced to follow a typical progression of topics in each of those courses over the school year. A new
problem is posted every two weeks, and students are encouraged to submit their solutions online, though many teachers simply print the problems and
use them as classroom activities.
Each problem includes an answer check which allows students to see if they are correct, and hints to help them if
they are stuck. Some student solutions will be mentored by Math Forum staff or volunteers, and students are
encouraged to continue to work on the problem and revise their solution, a powerful learning process. Subscriptions
can be purchased which will guarantee that your students receive mentoring from Forum staff, but they are welcome to submit without a subscription.
The Problem of the Week stresses good communication as well as good math. Student solutions should not only show
the work they have done, but also explain why they did it and what it means. Mentored solutions are scored on a
6-part rubric, with three categories for math and three for communication.
Are there other problems on the site besides the current Problems of the Week?
Every Problem of the Week we have used over the years is stored in our Active Problem Library, where they are categorized by course and
topic. Each problem also includes a solution and commentary, as well as samples of actual student solutions that were
submitted. Some problems also include teacher support materials, including alignment with NCTM standards. Use of the
library does require a subscription of $20 per year, but as one teacher recently told us in an email, "That's the best
$20 I've ever spent!"
There seems to be a lot of recent confusion over costs associated with use of the Math Forum. Again, teachers and students are free to make use of the current Problems of the Week at no charge. Use of the old problems in the library does require a $20 membership, and it's possible to buy mentoring for your students if you want to guarantee a reply. You can read our Pricing Guide for details.
Other than those two optional charges associated with the Problem of the Week service, everything else on the Math Forum site is available free of charge at this point, and we certainly hope to keep it that way. Of course, we are always willing to accept donations if you find the site useful and would like to help support it. Thank you.
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