Math Brain Work Activity

Posted Mar 30 2006

There are no computations here, but I used it as an icebreaker in a math class to get students to have some fun with numbers. Furthermore, it integrated their knowledge in other areas. This also worked well in any class that I needed to fill time with. The students really enjoyed working on this. I didn't invent this activity and the intro paragraph includes instructions written by someone else. However, when I first used this activity, it was for use in my classes, not necessarily to post on the internet so I didn't write down my source. So, if you see your words in this intro, let me know! I take responsibility for any qualms anyone has about problems 2-12 as those did come from my warped brain. The key is on page 2.

Math Brain Work

This test does not measure your intelligence, how well you know words, and most certainly not your mathematical ability. It will, however, give you some gauge of your mental flexibility and creativity. Think about sports, science, astronomy, fairy tales, etc. Work in teams and you can ask the staff of help. Make sure you ask EVERYONE in your group for suggestions.
Examine each of the following and identify what acronym, phrase or abbreviation shows. Hints are included in italics.

1. EXAMPLE: 26=L of the A = 26 Letters of the Alphabet

2. 7 = D of the W =
Period of Time

3. 12 = M of the Y =
Period of Time

4. 12 = S of the Z =
Related to the stars and people’s personalities

5. 9 = P of the SS =
Celestial bodies

6. 100 = P in a D =

7. 52 = W in a Y =
Period of time

8. 24 = H in a D =
Period of time

9. SW and the 7 D =
Disney cartoon

10. A D has 4 L =
Multiple answers. Could be an animal or a piece of furniture

11. There are 7 C in the W =

12. There are 11 P on a FT =

13. There are 50 S in the US =

14. There are 3600 S in an H =
Period of time

15. 4 = S in a Y
Describes periods of time


1. Martin Rochin said at June 16, 2008 3:50 am:

Although it took me a few minutes to get this it was really fun! I only missed 5 and 11. This is a pretty good puzzle and probably made an excellent ice breaker. Since it does not necessarily require hardcore thinking but does require some logic, it reminds me of Sodoku puzzles. I have heard that these kinds of exercises help improve problem solving (likely because they stimulate getting that first step) and that they can help people avoid Alzheimer's because they regularly exercise brain. Very nice I think other teachers should use this just for fun or ice breakers as well.

2. Mohamed Shiham said at December 28, 2008 3:02 am:

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