Mathnastics Camp: Puzzle Playground Gr. 3-5 Brain Building

In this course, young students will have fun while building their critical thinking and problem-solving skills
1 total review for this teacher
New class

60 minutes

per class

3x per week

over 2 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Mon Jun 13

Jun 13 - Jun 24 (2 weeks)
Mo, We, Fr
8pm - 9pm

Mon Jun 27

Jun 27 - Jul 8 (2 weeks)
Mo, We, Fr, Tu
7pm - 8pm

Mon Jul 11

Jul 11 - Jul 22 (2 weeks)
Mo, We, Fr
8pm - 9pm

Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

The short story is that  I believe in discovering for understanding above memorization or rote learning.  Here, students will strengthen the skills they need to be successful in future courses. As a long time algebra teacher, I know what they need and I know it can, and should begin as early as elementary school. After all, algebra is simply the logic of math.

It is often said that the mind (not meaning the actual brain) is the body's strongest muscle and benefits from regular exercise in much the same way as muscles do. In fact, the mind not only benefits from training - it thrives on it. Some call it Brain-Building, and students will have the opportunity to participate in brain-building exercises with me while having fun.

They will develop expertise and stamina as I undo the "I can't do math," perception of mathematics that gets in the way of their solving unfamiliar problems.  Solving puzzles regularly helps to create students who are better thinkers, and each of the sessions will present a different combination of four challenges - lateral and vertical - to exercise your child's thinking skills.

Benefits of lateral thinking puzzles I use:
- brain teasers require lateral thinking, or thinking outside the box. They involve a more indirect, unique, creative approach.
- rebus is a visual puzzle that uses lateral thinking to find its intended meaning. Students must think creatively to figure out the meaning from the clues they are given.
- mystery activities pose situations in which pieces of  information are given and we have to find the explanation by piecing the facts together.

Benefits of vertical thinking puzzles I use:
-  logic problems require vertical thinking, which is an analytical, or logical (more mathematical) way of thinking.
-  optical illusions teach us how our eyes and brain work together. 
-  number puzzles can develop a child's intelligence and promote early algebraic thinking.
-  sudoku  develops problem-solving skills and the brain will instinctively begin to find patterns of solutions. 
- logic grids test  mind power and deductive reasoning skills.

I have been an 8th grade math teacher (pre-algebra and algebra 1) for 30 years and am National Board Certified Mathematics Early Adolescent
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
3 hours per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Students will sign in to Nearpod with a class code and may need some assistance.
We will use Nearpod and Google Slides to access the materials. 


Jacquelyn Varcadipane
Lives in the United States
MATHnastics! Fun activities to build problem solving skills.
1 total review
2 completed classes

About Me

I am a National Board-certified math teacher with 30 years of experience teaching middle school math, specifically pre-algebra and algebra. I love math and my passion is teaching it to middle schoolers, but I believe that the foundation for future... 
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