Valentines Jeopardy! (Age 9)

The Activities

  1. Topic: Money. Book: The Story of Money by Maestro. This book traces the history of money from the earliest people to present day. We read until the Lydians invented the first coins. Both kids were really interested in this book, and didn’t want to stop reading. We had various interesting discussions, for example: what would happen if someone needed a blanket, but the blanket maker didn’t want any eggs.
  2. Topic: Story problems, coordinates, money, combinations. Valentines Jeopardy. We had 4 categories with 5 questions in each category. The questions were worth 100 – 500 points, with the higher point values being harder.  Our categories were “Broken Hearts”, “Time for Love”, “Map of My Heart”, and “Valentines Store”. Here are all the questions and answers.

Valentines Shop

Valentines Shop
Stickers…………12 for $2
Toys…………….5 for $3
Cards…………..25 for $4

Each Valentine is made of 1 card, 1 toy, and 1 sticker.

100: How much do 3 Valentines cost?
200: How much do 11 Valentines cost?
300: How much do 25 Valentines cost?
400: How much to 26 Valentines cost?
500: How much do 100 Valentines cost?

Time for Love

100: Katie sang a love song to Alex. She started singing at 5:22AM, and sang for 1 hour and 34 minutes. What time did she stop singing?
200: Fluffy bunny loved carrots so much she hopped around the garden with joy. Each hop was 2 feet long. She hopped 10 times per minute for 6 minutes. How far did she hop?
300: Luke has been waiting for Valentines day since December 8th. How many days did he have to wait?
400: Sam loves candy hearts. A pack contains 30 hearts, and it takes Sam 3 minutes to each one pack. How long does it take same to eat 5 hearts?
500: Corey loves numbers. She started at 5 and counted by fives for 30 minutes. She said one number every 2 seconds. What number did she end on?

Broken Hearts

100: You have 2 colors. How many ways can you color in a heart split into two sections?
200: You have 4 colors. How many ways can you color in a heart split into two sections?
300: You have 4 colors, and each heart has to use two different colors. How many ways can you color a heart split into two sections?
400: You have 2 colors. How many ways can you color in a heart split into 5 sections?
500: You have 3 colors. Each heart much use each color. How many ways can you color a heart split into 3 sections?

Map of My Heart

What word do the letters at the given coordinates spell? Starting at 300, the words are scrambled.img_20170212_181129

100: (7, 17) (11, 19) (3, 12) (16, 10)
200: (20, 1) (16, 10) (8, 5) (18, 3) (2, 20)
300: (2, 2) (8, 5) (8, 2) (9, 11) (6, 21)
(16, 10) (4, 6) (18, 7) (7, 17) (9, 11) (13, 1) (15, 5) (8, 5) (2, 20) (16, 10)
500: (19, 13) (5, 10) (2, 2) (18, 7) (6, 21)

How did it go?

We only had two kids in the circle, which was unlucky, since competitive activities like jeopardy usually go better if you have teams. Otherwise there can be too much pressure on individual kids. My daughter had an especially hard time with the competition aspect, especially after she fell behind early. She started ripping up all the materials and crying in between questions, but refused my attempts to turn the activity into group problem solving instead of a competition. Here’s the room after the activity was done. Notice all the ripped up paper bits strewn around.


Ultimately my daughter came back from a 1400 to 100 deficit, to win 2000 to 1900. The other kid was a great sport throughout the activity. She answered 7 questions correctly, compared to 6 from my daughter, but the point value was a bit lower.

The questions were just about the right difficulty. They had to work hard for the 500s.

Time for Love: they missed the 300 and the 500. They were close on the 300, but pretty far away from being able to solve the 500.

Valentines Shop: My daughter solved the 100 – 400, but could not compute the 500 (how many 12s make 100?). The other girl was uncomfortable with this category, even though I worked through each problem right afterward to show how it goes. I think she felt overwhelmed by having to compute how many packs you need to buy for each of 3 objects.

Map of my Heart: The other girl solved 100 – 400 very quickly. She was able to guess the Valentines words from just a couple coordinates. For the 100, she guessed the answer was “LOVE” after seeing the L and that the word was four letters long. The 300 was scrambled (CANDY), and it took both girls a while to figure it out. The 400 went quickly, guessed before all letters were searched.  My daughter got the 500 (CUPID), which was the trickiest word to unscramble.

Broken Hearts: I thought this wouldn’t be that hard, but neither girl knew how to compute color combinations through multiplication. They wanted to enumerate the colors. They only answered the 300 correctly. This was because I had enumerated the 16 options for the 200, and my daughter realized she just needed to remove the double color choices to get the 300. (12).

At the end of circle all the kids got a chocolate covered strawberry that me and my daughter made this afternoon.


Happy girl, before tragical jeopardy.

3178 Sprinkles (Age 7)

The Activities

  1. Topics: Angles, Geometry: Book: Hamster Champs by S. Murphy.
  2. Topics: Jeopardy, Arithmetic, Story Problems, Measurement, Programming, Sudoku: We played Math Jeopardy this week.  The problems can be downloaded here.  The topics were
    1. Arithmetic Chains: The kids had to evaluate a chain of arithmetic operations from left to right: 7 * 8 + 9 / 5 = 13.
    2. Extra Information: These were story problems that all had some extra information.  For example, John has 2 cakes, each with 7 pieces, and each piece has 227 sprinkles.  How many pieces of cake are there?
    3. Estimation: We had a number of objects of different lengths, for each question the kids had to guess the length in cm within some bound (+-1 for a 5 cm object, +- 5 for a 40 cm object).
    4. Programming: The kids had to trace a program using our standard language and execution worksheet.
    5. Sudoku: The kids had to solve 4×4 sudoku with increasingly many numbers missing.

How Did It Go?

We had all 5 kids this week.  The Age 5 circle didn’t happen this week so we both helped with the Age 7 circle.

Hamster Champs

This book was about angles.  The kids really liked it.  They loved the hamsters having to trick the cat.

Math Jeopardy

This was a very competitive game, it came down to the last question and the final difference was only 100 points.  All the kids contributed to their teams.  The way we handled the guessing was whichever team raised their hand first got to guess; if they were wrong, the other team got another 30 seconds to work on it; if they still got it wrong, the first team could guess again.

Arithmetic Chains

This was the easiest category.  The first three were quite easy, but the division caused them more problems.  65 / 5 was fairly tricky for them.  But in the end they got all of these correct.

Extra Information

The problem about the cupcakes (1000 cupcakes in 10 groups, 200 kids ate all but one from each group, how many left?) was the hardest in this group, and no one got it right.  We got 10, 999, and 800 as answers.  The 500 was answered correctly, but probably due to luck rather than fully understanding the answer.


This was the category with the most zeroes; the kids consistently under-guessed.  They usually missed by just a bit more than they were allowed to.


The 300 turned out to be the hardest for them, because they forgot how loops with multiple statements worked.  We went over that problem after no one got it right; and then they were able to answer each of the 400 and 500.  The 500 programming was the final question, and most of the kids made good progress on it.


The 200 puzzle was broken (I had made a mistake when preparing it, which is now fixed); one of the kids pointed it out almost immediately.  4×4 sudoku is easy enough that you can often guess and get it correctly on the first try.  All the kids were able to make progress.  All the puzzles were solved correctly but there was at least one incorrect guess.

Math Jeopardy

The Activities

1. Topic: Multiplication: Book: Mulitplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumplestiltskin by Calvert.

2. Topic: Many. Math Jeopardy.  Here are all the questions and pictures you need to play this.

We divided the kids into two teams and played a variation of Jeopardy. The categories were Multiplication, Estimation, Patterns, Tangrams, and Algebra.  The first team to write down their answer and raise their hand got to guess. If the first team was wrong the second team got 2.5 minutes to answer.  If they were wrong, then the first team got one last chance to guess. This way the teams are never just waiting for someone to answer.

My daughter working on a Tangram question.

My daughter working on a Tangram question.

The Jeopardy Board

The Jeopardy Board

How did it go?

We had 4 kids this week. The younger circle was cancelled because many of the kids were out of town, so my son was the score keeper for the big kids circle.


This book has a lot of story, and little bit of multiplication mixed in.  All the kids were really into it, and my daughter asked if she could have it in her room at bedtime.


We divided the kids into two teams of two, and explained the rules.  I think none of the kids had ever played trivia games before, so they didn’t know some basic strategy: for example, if the first team guesses wrong, the second team should take plenty of time before answering, to be sure to get it right.

Team 1 started out by getting pretty far ahead. This is mainly because one kid was really fast on all the multiplication problems, answering all of them except the 500 point one. No one got that one…it was 101 * 37.  Team 1 tried to do it by writing down 101 thirty-seven times, but they ran out of time. Team 2 tried to do it using base 10 blocks, making 37 piles of 101 each.  I really thought Team 2 might realized that 37 one hundred squares makes 3700, but they didn’t.

Both teams did very well on Algebra, with several kids being very close when the right answer was given.  They didn’t get to the 500 question.

Estimating was hard for the kids. The teams solved the first two by counting each object.  From the 300 onward they tried to estimate, but were never close enough to score points.

The 100 Tangram was pretty hard because the kids assumed our Tangram pictures would be to-scale. We had to give a couple hints for that one.  The kids did much better on the 200, 300, and 400, but ultimately the one kid from Team 2 solved all the Tangrams.

Patterns was a very close category, with multiple kids figuring out what the pattern was, but Team 1 was faster at writing down the answer. We only did the 100, 200, and 300.  The 300 was the hardest: Nov, Oct, Sept, Aug.  Team 2 guessed that the next three would be Sept, Oct, Nov.  Team 1 realized that it should be the months backward, but ended up guessing July, April, March.

Ultimately Team 1 by a score of 1900 to 1600.  Everyone was a good sport, though my daughter had started to get upset when Team 1 was pretty far ahead at the start (because they did all the multiplication problems early).

Overall this was very fun and motivating for the kids, and we’ll have to do it again!