My younger son has been doing a little practice for the AMC 8. Yesterday three problems from the 2013 exam gave him a little trouble. We went over them together.

The first was a tricky geometry problem. Both the words and ideas needed to solve this problem were new to him.

Next up was a challenging counting problem – we broke this into two pieces. This is a great counting problem for kids. In the first part we found out how to calculate the answer, but didn’t finish the calculation:

In the second part we talked about strategies to finish the calculation:

Finally – a fantastic geometry problem. It has a few little traps in it, but my son found a nice solution.

I love using the old AMC contest problems to help the boys see math that is both fun and challenging. These problems were really fun to talk through.