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I'm a high school physics teacher. Next year, I'll be teaching mathematics for middle school students so I was wondering if there's a curriculum based on recreational mathematics which not only present a sequence of puzzles and games but which also should have definite objectives. I hope there's such curricula because if not I'll have to make such one and it will take a really long time to author and test.

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Isn't it more or less the definition of recreational mathematics that it isn't the kind of thing you find in formal curricula? –  Chris Eagle Jul 10 '13 at 15:39
    
@ChrisEagle Recreational mathematics include the kind of problems that are simple to understand and interesting and at the same time have an easy or at most intermediate solution (relative to the person). For example, you can use the ant on a rubber rope to introduce the harmonic series or as an interesting ODE; another puzzle is the tower of hanoi. –  metacompactness Jul 10 '13 at 15:56
    
What are the legally mandated topics? How much freedom do you have in choice of course material? –  Brian M. Scott Jul 10 '13 at 22:24
    
@BrianM.Scott I have some topics to explain like the Pythagorean theorem, square roots, expansion and factorization...but I don't want to do them the boring way (write the statements on the board and explain them), I want the students to be more interested. –  metacompactness Jul 11 '13 at 10:20
    
I understand that. I also know, however, that in many school systems the individual teacher has relatively little freedom to modify the curriculum, and I wondered under what restrictions you would be operating. –  Brian M. Scott Jul 11 '13 at 19:51

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Actually there is a number of such books, though I wouldn't call it a "curriculum". I suggest you try the recent books by Ian Stewart, particularly Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities (2008) and Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures: Another Drawer from the Cabinet of Curiosities (2009).

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I have many of these books; they are interesting but I was looking for a curriculum based on recreational mathematics. Note: Any interesting (simple) problem of combinatorics, probability, number theory, graph theory... could be considered as recreational. –  metacompactness Jul 10 '13 at 15:59

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