Questions & AnswersProductsAbout Mitch Adler


Dear Mitch,

In previous years, you posted a number of holiday-themed math puzzles of the "balance-scale" style.  I know that this type of math challenge is very popular in Asia and is used on a regular basis for math instruction at all levels in Japan.  I am an eighth grade math instructor near Anchorage, Alaska, and found your previous holiday balance problems a great way to introduce students to real-life applications of algebra and general problem-solving.  The best part was that students at all grade levels and all levels of skill eventually found ways to solve the problems, especially when I broke them up into groups.  So, I was wondering, with Halloween coming up, were you planning to post one of your balance scale type problems?

Hoping you do,

Ms. M

Anchorage, Alaska 


Dear Ms. M,
The balance problems to which you refer are among the most popular types of problems we have presented over the years on the website. You are also correct in stating that they are among the most popular vehicles used for teaching math in Asia, and, yes, particularly Japan.
So, to see our new Halloween math puzzle of that balance-scale type, simply scroll down...
WARNING:  Like many of these math puzzles, this one looks deceptively simple, but it seems to pose a surprisingly perplexing challenge to even some of our most sophisticated middle school and high school mathematicians, so... give it a try, but be patient with yourself!
Other than that, all I can say is keep your eye out for it, as it will soon appear right here, and all you will have to do to see it is keep scrolling down below my electronic signature. . . 
Enjoy, good luck, and have a happy Halloween!,