Games and MathPam Sorooshian
from the UnschoolingDiscussion list
You all do realize, of course, that mathematicians don't sit around doing the kind of math that you learned in school. They don't sit around and do long division or divide fractions or even solve quadratic equations
They don't just play the same old games, though. Mostly, they take a "game" that has been played and won by somebody and they change the rules a little and then they watch it play out and look at how the play of the game changes and how the outcomes change.
Only the very most brilliant mathematician ever makes up a whole new game.
So - when you play games, you are doing exactly what mathematicians really do IF you fool with the games a bit, experiment, see how the play change if you change a rule here and there.
There are lots of ways to change game rules - sometimes a simple seemingly innocuous change can have major impacts on how the game plays out and what the outcome is. What if you let people have the option of skipping a turn, for example? Or - what if at the end of a turn they roll a die and call out a number - if they get a match with the number on the die, they get an extra turn.
Oh - and when you make up games and they flop - be sure to examine why they flop - that is a big huge part of what mathematicians do, too.