Hai, I'm with you about your post on math games. My experience is that many kids do like math games. Some of my least "mathy" kids will spot the game set behind my desk and say, "Ohh, I love that game." I know the sixth grade math teacher at my school has tried game days especially on Fridays when the energy for "regular" math isn't there. I haven't tried it myself, but your post is encouraging me to.
I have talked with my students about game theory being a branch of mathematics and even played a couple of strategy games with them and showed them how math can help you win. They did enjoy that. If you wanted to step up the rigor, you could even have them write about their strategy or design a game and a strategy for winning.
I'm also reminded of a Richard Feynman quote (posted on "Why I Love Mathematics" on AnAmazingMind.com) about the joy of doing physics. You could sub in math for physics, and the quote still works: "Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." Oh, if only my students felt that way...
3 days ago