Palo Alto Veterans’ Day math word problems for your student

All the Palo Alto kids are excited to have a 3-day weekend, but they can still do math during the break!  They all get an extra day to have fun in Palo Alto and also honor United States veterans. Some students will use this time to enjoy the company of their families, while others might take a trip to go

American flags to honor US veterans.

American flags to honor US veterans.

camping or hang around Palo Alto with their friends and enjoy their remaining Halloween candy.  At Mathnasium in Palo Alto, we will make sure to continue using math.  We encourage you to have your Palo Alto and Menlo Park students do the same with the following fun math word problems relating to their time off from school.

Elementary School:

1.  Jeremy has 42 pieces of leftover Halloween candy after his trick-or-treating adventures in Palo Alto. If he collected 79 pieces of candy from local houses, how many pieces has he eaten so far?

2.  Haley is allowed to watch just 7 hours of TV over the break.  She watched 3 hours of a show about math on Saturday and 2 hours of cartoons on Sunday.  How many hours of TV is Haley allowed to watch on Monday?

3. Timmy has a 3-day weekend.

, he also has 6 hours of chores to do over those three days.  How many hours does he have to work on chores each day, if he wants to work the same amount each day?

Middle School:

4.  Miranda is very excited for Christmas.  She knows there is a long time until she gets to open her presents on December 25.  If today is November 9th, how many days does Haley have to wait to open her presents under the tree in Palo Alto?

5.  Joey is very excited about all of his breaks in Palo Alto.  He wants to count up all of his days off for the rest of the year to practice his math skills.  He knows that there are 21 weekends, 2 days each.  Four of those weekends are 3-day weekends, giving him an additional day off.  He also has Winter Break, which gives him nine extra days off, and Spring Break, which gives him five more.  How many total days off does Joey have left in Palo Alto this year?

6.  Veterans’ Day was first celebrated in 1919.  How many years has it been honored?  How many decades?


7.  A group of Palo Alto student decided to host a fundraiser to honor veterans.  They spent 245 dollars to set everything up, and charged 12 dollars per person for entry.  If they received 134 dollars in addition to the entry price in donations, how many people had to pay for entry in order for the students to break even?  How many for them to raise their goal, 150 dollars, for veterans?

Easy math trick your Palo Alto kids will love: How to add the numbers from 1 to n

A classic math trick for classy Palo Alto families: How to quickly add up the numbers from 1 to n

Everyone in Palo Alto loves a quick and easy tip that will wow the people they’re with. Whether you use this trick to impress your math-impaired friends or to give your kids the impression that you’re a math speed demon, you’ll love the reaction you get.

Here’s the idea. Take the example of adding the numbers from 1 to 100. You could start by adding 1 + 2 = 3, + 3 = 6, + 4 = 10, and so on, up ’til + 100. This is a perfectly respectable way to add this up, given you have the patience of a sloth. How about looking at the numbers a different way? Instead, try pairing up numbers on either side of the super ultra long addition problem.

Knowing that (1 + 100) = 101, make a bunch more 101 pairs– (2 + 99), (3 + 98), (4 + 97) all equal 101. Now you’ve just got to recognize that folding 100 numbers in half gives you 50 numbers on either side. Therefore, there are 50 pairs of 101.
math trick math tip Palo Alto

So now you’ve broken down (1 + 2 + 3 … + 99 + 100) to a mere 101 x 50. How easy is that? And you can do the same thing given the problem of adding all the numbers from 1 to 500, or 1 to 2,000… You get the idea.

Now flee, my apprentices! The vast applications of this immensely impressive math trick await you.

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Summer Break is Almost Here, Palo Alto! Keep Math on the Brain with “Times Attack!”

spring multiplication math games game

Spring is here and school is almost over! Looking for a way to keep your child engaged with math over the summer break? Here’s a quick run-down of our new multiplication math game: Times Attack!

Here at Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park, kids love playing Times Attack! This math game is fun and easy to play anywhere—all you need is a deck of cards! Whether it’s to strengthen your child’s multiplication skills or to just make math more fun, this game is sure to help with both!

Here are the simple instructions:

How to Play “Times Attack” Multiplication Game:


  1. Take out all face-cards from a deck of cards. Aces can count as ones!
  2. Put the entire deck face down on the table, and then each player (2-3 people) takes two cards from the deck.
  3. Each player multiplies the two cards together. Whoever has the highest product wins, and can take everyone else’s cards!
  4. Compete until you run out of cards. The person with the most cards wins the game!
  5. In case of a tie, each player turns takes two more cards and finds the product. The player with the higher product takes all the cards from both plays.

I think the best part of Times Attack is its simplicity—it’s an easy-to-learn game and can be played wherever and whenever you want! For younger kids, you can easily mold the game for addition as well; just add the two cards together to find the sum!

> Learn more about Summer Math Tutoring in Palo Alto / Menlo Park

~ Mathin’ Catherine 5/2013

The Math Game is On, Palo Alto! Here’s a Fun Math Game for Kids: Multiplication War!

You don’t have to spend hours running around outside to spend time with your kids. (Although there are many opportunities to practice math in sports!) For those of us with less free time after work and less, shall we say, fitness expertise, it’s just as exciting to spend an evening in playing cards. One of my favorite games is Multiplication War.

If you’ve ever heard of the card game War, it’s played as follows: the players divide up the deck evenly, and face down their cards. They then throw down one card each at the same time, and the person with the highest value card keeps both of the cards. The player that ends up with all the cards wins!

At Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park, we took classic War and put a spin on it. When the players throw down their cards, instead of the highest card taking the win, it’s given to the person that calls out the product of the two values first. (We figured out pretty quickly to take out the face cards – Jack times 4 didn’t fly.)

Simple Steps for Multiplication War, as a Math Game

Math Games in Palo Alto, California

Game Setup…

  1. Remove face cards from deck
  2. Divide cards evenly between players
  3. Places piles face down

Game Action!

  1. Players count to three and each throw down their top card
  2. First one to call out the product wins both cards
  3. If both people say answer at the same time, each player keeps their own card
  4. Recycle cards to bottom of pile and repeat
  5. Player with all cards at end of game wins!

This game is especially great for 3rd – 5th graders. You’ll be surprised how fast your kids can get at times tables! And how crazy and fun  this game can get. I encourage you try this game a few times at home – you might hear your kids asking to practice multiplication more often!

by Mathin’ Catherin, March 2, 2013

> Learn more about Math Games in Palo Alto / Menlo Park

Math is All about Attitude – Tutoring your Palo Alto Child with a Positive Mathitude!

Parents, families, tutors… even kids are busier than ever these days! Especially in Silicon Valley, a.k.a Palo Alto, CA, near the Stanford campus (birthplace of Google and Yahoo)… Everything is hectic these days, but as we drive our kids hither and tither it is so important to have a positive attitude – not the least, about mathematics!

by Mathin’ Catherin, February 21, 2010

> Learn more about Math Tutoring in Palo Alto / Menlo Park

Kids Are Smart and Pick Up Our Attitudes; About Math (and Everything Else)

Kids are smart, really smart. And math is everywhere, and part of my blog is to share ideas and tips about tutoring your kids in math, whereever you are. Suppose you are on University Avenue in Palo Alto, busy as always… stuck in traffic. You might try a math game, like how many cars can cross the intersection in a minute, and then calculate the number of minutes you estimate it will take before your car crosses the intersection…

Palo Alto Traffic and Math Tutoring Attitudes

And then, someone cuts you off, and you scream or say some bad words, and you blurt out how frustrated you are – with life, with Palo Alto traffic, with how incredibly slow University Avenue is on a busy Friday, and you might even (Heaven forbid) admit that you didn’t exactly love math as a kid, and you’re glad your job has nothing to do with math!

Attitude is Everything, Especially with Respect to Learning Math

So back to math. Perhaps you don’t use math in your job today. Lots of folks don’t use math. But think back to when you were ten, or twelve, or fifteen. Perhaps you needed math tutoring in High School. Perhaps you even had an algebra math tutor, perhaps even in Palo Alto. But you didn’t know then what you’d be doing now.

You might not be using math, but your child might. They have their whole future ahead of them, and we don’t know what it will be. Maybe it will involve math, maybe it won’t.

But it will involve attitude. So don’t feel guilty about being stressed out!  That’s normal. Just try to impart to your kid that everyone gets tired, gets stressed out… but attitude is everything.

Now back to how many cars can squeak thru University Avenue lights on a busy Friday afternoon!

~ Mathin’ Catherine, 2/21/2013




Menlo Park Pizza, Fractions, and Math Tutoring Ideas for Parents

Nearly every child loves pizza! Menlo Park has some great pizza restaurants, and on those busy Thursday or Friday nights when you as the parent are just too tired… it’s a great time to try some Menlo Park pizza, and it’s a quick opportunity for some math tutoring for your child. Never miss a quick and fun opportunity!

by Mathin’ Catherine (Cathy Umana)

January 29, 2013

Some Math Tutoring Ideas Around Pizza in Menlo Park

Math Tutoring and Pizza in Menlo Park, CA

OK, so let’s think about pizza. Yum, yum, yum. OK, not about it in that way. Let’s think about pizza in a math way. Pizza is round, and the slices are usually in triangles. Math tutoring opportunity: fractions! Order up your family’s favorite pizza pie, and then query your 3rd or 4th grader to think about the pizza as a fraction. If the pizza is in eight slices, then if Dad eats 2 slices he has eaten how much?

2/8th of the pizza.

Then ask your child to look at all the two slices, and ask what if Dad eats two more slices? How much will have have eaten? Too much! But in a math way he will have eating

2/8 plus 2/8 = 4/8

Then have your child look at the pizza and show him or her that 2/8 +2/8 = 1/2 of the pizza.

If you really want to get fancy –

Napkins and Math Facts for Menlo Park Pizza

Get out your napkin and show your child that you can add 2/8 + 2/8 but first convert the 2/8 to 1/4 and you get 1/4+1/4 = 2/4 = 1/2.

Math facts and pizza! A yummy combination. And dads out there, don’t eat 1/2 the pizza – next lesson we’ll calculate the calories, sodium and cholesterol in the pizza!

Here are some of our favorite pizza places in Menlo Park, nearby to our Mathnasium, math tutoring in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, headquarters at 605 Cambridge Ave, Ste A, Menlo Park, CA 94025 –

Pizza in Menlo Park – Some Choices

  • Pizza Hut, 3415 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA
  • Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, 880 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA
  • High 5 Start Pizza, 877 Hamilton Ave, Menlo Park, CA