Welcome to the New Blog!

This is the new blog style for IPMG!  Thanks for stopping by.   We’re getting everything formatted and soon this will be a place for you to come for lots of great math content and links to great math education, math games and math activities ideas.

Please give us a week or two to get everything squared away.



The Times They Are a Changin’ for IPMG Publishing

Bob Dylan popularized this phrase many years ago in his anthemic song of the same name.  IPMG Publishing has been changing in recent years for several reasons.

First, the launch of IPMG’s Tic Tac Math Apps created a unique opportunity to be a first mover as the first iPad app introduced at the NCTM conference in 2010.  Couple this with iPad adoptions in schools and it’s pretty clear that the print business is in trouble from a usage standpoint but also from an educational value perspective.

Second, the cost of printing has gone through the roof!  As it is now, IPMG Publishing can no longer afford to offer the discounts necessary to distributors, inventory the products and ship them out while still earning a profit.  So things have to change…..

What does this all mean?  Starting in 2013, we will begin to make IPMG’s extensive library of math game and activity content available for free via this blog.  After you download the pdf of the game or activity and use it for a bit, I’d be grateful if you would come back and write a quick comment about how you use the math games or math activities that you selected.

My goal is to develop more games for the iPad based on the content that we have available.  While the games will now be free as a pdf download, all that I ask in exchange, is that if you have a blog, an iPad program in your school or a list of recommended apps for parents on your school website, that you include the Tic Tac Math series, available on the App Store here, in your planning.

Thanks and stop back often to get free math games and free math activities!  Oh, and  please forward this on to any of your friends and colleagues who may be interested in this sort of thing.

More on the Consumerization of Education

Today this venerable name in educational publishing filed for bankruptcy. While troubling and sad, it is not surprising to this observer. It’s not the cited reasons of a poor economy, a lack of state and local funding or recession driven resources. It’s about resistance to change.

The transition from print to digital, and the resultant consumerization of education, has completely changed the landscape of the educational business. I feel for the big publishers whom have built businesses on the concept of producing a textbook, selling it to a district and then doing that over and over again. It worked for a long time, it doesn’t anymore.

The iPad and the app economy have decimated this business model by making content readily available, readily updatable and low cost. In addition, scholl districts, teachers, parents and students seem to be on board with the transition. Houghton Mifflin made a valiant attempt to integrate themselves into the app economy about a year ago when they establish a fund to fuel development of interactive content. But it seems that the train had left the proverbial station by the time that they figured this out.

It will be small companies like IPMG Publishingthat will lead the next generation of learners. Why, because we adapt quickly.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Consumerization of Education

Last week I attended a conference on Technology. During the conference, there was a phrase used that I thought was very interesting and had a unique parallel to what I am trying to accomplish with IPMG.

The phrase “the Consumerization of IT” was used to describe the evolution of centralized IT services in companies to individuals managing their own devices with intermittent need for instruction and services. After the conference, this phrase stuck with me and I found myself stunned by the parallel to apps in education.

The mind-boggling part of this is that the app economy is shifting the responsibility more to the user. Away from a centralized system of we teach, you listen, learn and take test to an environment of, learn where and when you want to, use a device that makes sense for you, get quick feedback on progress and have a more positive relationship with the subject.

This is fun stuff. And IPMG will transition all of its’ substantial math content repository to apps over the next five years. Just need to figure out a way to pay for it! Please stay tuned.

“What’s your most popular book?” And why card games?

These are the two most popular questions that I hear from customers of iplaymathgames.com.

To answer the first question, it’s IPMG’s book called "Math in the Cards".  This is a 220 page book packed with card games for a wide age range from Kindergarten to High School.  The best way to describe the book itself and answer the second question is with the introduction from the book itself:

Motivation, enjoyment and mastery are the main reasons for playing card games and solving puzzles. For the most part, card games and puzzles do not explicitly teach skills. However, playing, solving and creating games and puzzles can be a useful tool for diagnosis and practice. Card games provide students with an opportunity to utilize and solidify skills they have acquired. The games also provide occasions to teach skills prior to playing so that students can play well. This can reduce the number of questions such as, “When am I ever going to use this?”


Card puzzles can be used in many ways. They can be a useful supplement to regular textbook assignments. They can also be edited so that they are a part of a warm up exercise program to start a class or introduce a topic. Many teachers use the card puzzles as a part of a puzzle of the week program. The puzzles can be posted on the bulletin board or somewhere in the room for students to examine and do during some short period of time during the day or at home. The puzzles can also be done in groups or assigned as non-traditional math homework. In general, most teachers find that puzzles of the week need to be more challenging than puzzles selected as warm up exercises. Many teachers indicate that they find that posting a puzzle on Monday and then discussing solutions on Friday is an effective format. Some teachers also provide a small reward for the “most insightful or creative” solution. Others prefer to have students who correctly solve a puzzle place their name in a box and then draw for a prize.


The first section of the book provides a collection of card games. The games are group alphabetically by topic, but they are not organized sequentially.


Pages 1-63 provide whole number concepts and operations games. Some of the games, such as Card Suit Race, Do Drop In, Horse Shoe Race, Match Up and Sole Survivor provide practice with color, symbol and number recognition, counting and matching numerals. Place value, comparing and decision-making are emphasized in Trading Places and Your Number Is Up. Games, such as Let’s Predict, Make My Day Addition and Subtraction, provide practice with basic facts. Others are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers games that also provide strategy formation. Close Call, Come Closer and In The Gap provide practice with estimation and mental arithmetic.


Pages 64-80 deal with basic ideas from geometry and measurement. Build a Polygon provides practice identifying polygons and finding perimeter. Let It Slide, Let’s Convert, Let’s Estimate, Metric Ant Paths and One Meter Card Dash provide experiences in metric length. The remaining games in this section are Last Place, Creating Line Symmetry and Point Symmetry Rummy. They offer concept development and practice with area and symmetry.


Pages 81-100 provide probability and statistics games. Aces Count and Choosing the Best Average are games to provide practice finding the mean, median and mode. Many statistics experts identify six steps in data analysis. They are: 1. Ask the question. 2. Collect the data. 3. Organize and display the data. 4. Summarize the data. 5. Interpret the data. 6. Make the decision. The remaining games in this collection are designed to provide students with practical examples of this process. In addition, the games Compare and Pair, Eleven’s, Getting Even, Lucky Number and Matched Pair are designed to spark a discussion of gambling as a social issue.


Pages 101-109 consider pre-algebra games. Battle It Out, Build and Take and Integers In Between, are integer games involving comparing and addition. Find the Joker is a coordinate graphing game. Power Play and Power Struggle are working with exponents games that also involve calculator use.


Pages 110-120 move through a set of logical thinking skills games. Some of the games in this set such as Bag It, Card Pick Up Games, Give Me a Clue, I’ll Give You Some Chances, Street Hustler and Two Aces and a Deuce are deductive reasoning experiences. Yes, No, You Got It! exposes players to the notion of a binary search strategy.


Pages 121-132 provide fractions, decimals and percent games. Box Shot, Do You Read Me?, Decimals in Between and Make a Buck are decimal games. They provide practice with place value, reading decimals and addition. Fractions in Between and Two or Twenty-Two are fraction games that examine comparing and beginning addition. Relay The Message is a game that provides practice finding a percent of a number and highlights women working in a non-traditional area.


Pages 133-138 provide two interdisciplinary games. Tour the Planets is a math and science game where the players must name the planets to earn their score. Tour the USA is a math and social studies game where players must name the states and capitols to earn their score.


The second section of the book provides a collection of logical thinking activities. The first part of this section provides a set of reproducible puzzles. Some of the puzzles, such as Cards, Triangles and Patterns, Consecutive Numbers Card Puzzles and Border Patrol Card Puzzles, provide practice with problem solving strategies such as finding patterns, systematic trial and error, or working backwards. Others, such as Fancy Footwork Featuring Fours provide an opportunity for creative practice with basic facts and order of operations. The second part of this section provides a set of mathematical card tricks.

In addition to providing many games, puzzles and tricks, this book has another emphasis-creation of new puzzles and games.


Throughout the book there are suggested game variations and challenges to create new games and puzzles.


At the back of the book are teaching suggestions and selected answers. 


If you would like to purchase a copy of the book to be delivered to you, or download a copy for your immediate use, please do so by clicking here.


Family Math Night at Bluff Creek Elementary in Chanhassen, MN

What a great night!  The first Family Math Night at Bluff Creek Elementary School in Chanhassen, MN was a great success.  Principal Joan MacDonald and her staff did a wonderful job of arranging a Family Math Night that gave kids and parents a unique opportunity to explore a new relationship with math.

The Bluff Creek Family Math Night was anchored by a custom math game and activitiy workbook sponsored by Community Bank of Chanhassen and developed and published by IPMG Publishing, an Eden Prairie, MN developer of math games and activities.  Each student went home with a book, a deck of cards and a pair of dice to play the games at another time.

In addition, the evening featured students from the Middle School mentoring younger kids, a station that related math in music and a hands-on area to explore the math in art.



Crewton Ramone’s House of Math

When I find something that is interesting, I love to pass it along.  So it is with Crewton Ramone’s House of Math.

Mr. Ramone is obviously a man who is passionate about math and is putting some great content out the ere on the internet.  Anyone who can make algebra seem as straightforward as he does deserves a lot of credit.

Like the IPMG site, Crewton’s House of Math is a great way for kids to begin building a positive relationship with math.

First Family Math Night Project Completed!

Here is the press release from the first comleted Family Math Night sponsored by a Community Bank for the 4 schools that surround it.


Media Contact
Joel Gaslin
IPMG Publishing, LLC


Community Bank Chanhassen Sponsors Family Math Night Publication to Support Local Students, Families, Teachers and Schools.

New community outreach program encourages family interaction to further develop math skills

Chanhassen, MN December 13, 2010- Community Bank Chanhassen announced today the release of a new custom designed Family Math Night publication produced by IPMG Publishing, www.iplaymathgames.com.  The Family Math Night publication contains 16 math games and activities for kids in grades k-8 that aims to encourage families to use math games and family time as a tool to help schools, teachers and students accomplish their goal of improving math test scores.  The program provides one printed booklet for each of the 2,500 students at Chanhassen area elementary schools.

Community Bank Chanhassen’s President, Bill Traxler, had this to say about why the bank chose to sponsor a unique initiative like Family Math Night:  “Part of our mission is to provide leadership that positively influences the lives of the people and communities we serve.  It is our hope that this initiative will assist our teachers by providing an additional tool to further develop the math skills of our students and provide parents with an opportunity to be further engaged in their children’s education.  The Family Math Night publication is one way for our bank to give back to the wonderful teachers, parents and students in our community.”

A program like Family Math Night will only succeed to the degree that it is implemented in the schools.  One of the schools is planning to integrate the publication with a formal “Family Math Night” at the school with many other activities.  Another is planning to introduce the book in its math classes before the holiday break.  And to encourage family involvement and participation they plan to have contests for the most times played over the winter break.

During a planning meeting for the initiative, Bluff Creek Elementary School Principal, Joan McDonald, said, “I like the opportunity for continuity that this program brings to our school.”

Community Bank Corporation, established in 2000, has offices in Chanhassen and Chaska.  The bank strives to make a difference…one relationship at a time.

IPMG Publishing, LLC is an Eden Prairie, MN based developer of math games and activities that help kids have fun with math.  www.iplaymathgames.com highlights the product and formats that IPMG has to offer.  Tic Tac Math® is available in Apple’s iTunes App store as a fun way for kids to learn math facts!