Thursday, November 14, 2013

We've moved and they all know it!!!

Hey guys!!!  The ThoughtBox blog moved to a new address!!!  They're now blogging at:  

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Photography: flickr

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Matchsticks and Triangles

Can you arrange 6 match sticks to make 4 equilateral triangles?

Send us your solution!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Math

Happy Halloween from the ThoughtBox team!!

Have you already gathered your pumpkin? Let's play a game with the kids while carving a very scary one!

The Pumpkin Math game involves length and weight measuring concepts among other basic math operations such addition, subtraction and multiplication. Math is everywhere... in a Pumpkin too!

This game works well for a large number of kids but individually is also fun if you get involved with them in the game.

All we need is:
  • Pumpkins (One per person or, in the case of teams, one for every 3-4 kids).
  • Kitchen scale.
  • Pumpkin carving tools. Please, be careful using them! 
  • Plastic bag. Set up an improvised laboratory-math on the floor for the mess.
  • Strainer.
  • Pencils and sheets for notes.
  • Measuring tape.
  • String or yarn.
  • Ruler.
  • Markers and crayons.
First of all... what's the name of your pumpkin??  You'll need to differentiate it from the rest as well as your team's name!

Concepts we'll review:

Weight: the measurement of how heavy something is.
Circumference: the distance around a circle or sphere.
Diameter: the length of a line through the centre of a circle or sphere.

Before we start the mess, guess the total weight (in grams), the circumference (in cm), the diameter (in cm) of your pumpkin and the number of ribs and the seeds that it contains. Write your numbers down on your fact-sheet. You can divide your page in two columns: 'My guess' - 'My measurement'. If you are playing with teams, it might be a good idea to have a big fact-sheet where everyone can check out other's performance.

Now prepare the kitchen scale, the measuring tape, the ruler, etc... and don't forget to take notes of the results:
  1. Use the kitchen scale and weight your pumpkin in its original state. 
  2. With the measuring tape and the ruler, find out the circumference and the diameter length of your pumpkin. Figure out how to measure the diameter without opening the pumpkin.
  3. Count the number of ribs of your pumpkin.
  4. Time to open your pumpkin! Take the seeds and place them in the strainer. Clean them with water and drain them.
  5. Count the amount of seeds and divide the total number into groups of ten seeds, paint each group with a different colour.
  6. Give each group a value, from 0 to.... how many groups have you managed to form?
  7. Having your diameter, circumference, number of ribs and seeds and weight as 'objectives', try to combine your seeds with math operations such addition, subtraction, multiplication or division to get the 'objective' result.
Let's say your pumpkin weights 3kg. and your blue seeds = 2, green seeds = 3, black seeds = 4, orange seeds = 5, for example. Then:  
1 orange seed - 1 blue seed = 3 kg weight! This was an easy example... but, I want you to find a minimum of 5 different ways to get the answer.
Extra activities:
How accurate was your initial guess? Add an extra column on your fact-sheet and see who is the best 'math-guesser'. 
Did you found any pattern in the pumpkins? I found one! The more number of ribs... the large amount of seeds.

Have fun carving your pumpkin!! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Many roads lead to Rome

Math fun...
Photography: Dawn Suzette

Probably some of you still remember your math lessons in primary school. Do you remember that long multiplication table that you had to learn by heart? 

Math is more than just providing an answer for the problem is being given. The beauty of math is beyond learning simple facts, it is in experimentation and exploration. Math is fun!

We believe there are many things we can do to improve the way kids look at math by giving them the clues they can use to go off and explore broader.

Perhaps you are helping your kids with their math problems and they come up with the question... 'how much is 12 times 5?' And because they don't have their multiplication table beside them, they don't know the answer... Ok, something just doesn't work...

We are going to help you discover different ways to find solutions for the same problem so you can challenge your kids.

Let's play a game: 'Many roads lead to Rome'. If you want to increase the difficulty level, take pencils and paper out of the way!

Following our example 12 x 5, we'll discover different ways to find the answer. Here are some suggestions...

Adding 12, five times: 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 60

Adding 5, twelve times: 5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5= 60

Decomposition of 12:
2 x 5 = 10
10 x 5 = 50
50 + 10 = 60

Decomposition of 5:
12 x 2 = 24
12 x 2 = 24
12 x 1 = 12
24 + 24 + 12 = 60

Multiplying the half of 12, by 5, twice. Then, add them:
12/2 = 6 --> 6 x 5 = 30
12/2 = 6 --> 6 x 5 = 30
30 + 30 = 60

Multiplying halved and doubled numbers:
12/2 (halved) = 6
5 x 2 (doubled) = 10
6 * 10 = 60

As you can see, there's not a unique road to reach the answer. That's what kids like to do: explore given situations the way they want. Let's encourage them with Math!

Ask them to solve different problems mentally to keep them challenged!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Numerosity: Play with Division! is here with big surprises!

Big news!!! We are celebrating the launch of our new app: Numerosity: Play with Division! with a lot of surprises!

Two of our apps are FREE until Saturday, 19th of October!!! Visit the App Store and discover which ones!! Hint: Numerosity!

But that's not all... Our new app, Division, has been featured on iHeartThisApp this week! Give us one of your hearts for Numerosity voting on this website! Thank you for your love!!

Aimed at 8 to 10 year olds, Numerosity: Play with Division! is about experimentation and creativity applied to math. Your kids will learn and practice from the basic concepts to the most advanced division problems while having fun.

Go to the App Store and check out Numerosity on your iPad! Play with your kids and leave your feedback in the App Store. We'll keep up the hard work to bring the best educational value and the most fun games for your kids.

Come play with us!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Old thermometer

Photography: Matches2

Let's make thermometers! But... wait! What's that?

A thermometer is an instrument that measures the temperature. Have you seen one before? Maybe when your mom checked your body temperature when you were sick. Temperature is a numerical measure of hot or cold. We use different scales to measure the temperature, one is called Fahrenheit and, the other one, Celsius or Centigrade.

As we said, we measure how hot or cold something is with numbers. To give you a brief idea, the point where water freezes is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or 0 degrees Celsius (C). And, the point where water boils, is 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. 

Did you know that the highest temperature recorded on Earth was 134ยบ F? Or that the lowest was −89.2 °C? Does it really feel hot or cold? Could you translate these temperatures to the scale you usually use? While you think about it...

... why don't we make our own thermometer to experiment and play with it?

All you need is:
  • A small cup
  • 1 thin straw
  • 1 Balloon
  • 1 Rubber band
  • Food colouring. (Any water colorant will work).
  • A marker.
  • Piece of cardboard or hard paper.
  • Glue.
How to make your thermometer:
  1. Put some water in the cup (half of it should be fine).
  2. Put a pinch of food colouring into the cup. Ta-taan!!
  3. Take the balloon and cut it in the middle.
  4. Cover the cup with the wide part of the balloon and use the rubber band to fix it to your cup. Once this is done, make a hole in the middle of this balloon using, for example, a tooth pick, and put the straw through of the hole.
  5. Suck through the straw and see how the water goes up in the straw. Keep doing it until the water reaches a point above the lid. Please, don't drink it!!
  6. Using glue, attach a rectangular piece of paper to the straw. You will use it to mark your own temperature scale!
  7. Congrats! You just made a thermometer!
Let's try some experiments!

Mark the initial water level on the piece of paper attached to the straw with a marker. Place your thermometer into the fridge for a while. Take it out and observe how the level of the water changes. Hurry up to mark the new level!

Why don't you measure temperatures around your house and mark them on your thermometer?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Teachers With Apps Certified badge!!

It's a great honour for us to announce that two of our apps, Numerosity: Play with Addition! and Numerosity: Play with Subtraction!, received the Teachers With Apps Certified badge! Wohooo!!


Check them out and see why they deserve the badge. We are looking forward to receiving your feedback. Write a comment below, or email us at: and help us to create the best educational apps!

About Teachers With Apps Certification Program

This Certification was designed to recognize and applaud Apps that are exemplary in content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience. The Teachers With Apps Certified badge of approval will be awarded to education apps that prove exemplary in the following areas: content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience.