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I'm struggling to find any good "problem generation" software or sites. I want a program that will do the following:

  1. Generate typical problems at all sorts of levels (from toddler age through to teen, say).
  2. Do this reasonably intelligently, meaning, for instance, solutions for $x$ would actually exist when they're asked for. Think of hand-constructed problems from text books that are designed to be reasonable.
  3. Print out a long list of desired problems as a PDF file for printing purposes, on paper. (I'm afraid I very much extremely do not like "online" or "onscreen" math problems, online / app "math games" and similar!)

There are any number of, say, web sites, that rather badly generate "poorly thought out" random problems. I want a system that will generate lists of good problems to be done on paper. Does anyone know of an app/program/website that does this? Thanks in advance.

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welcome to the MESE, nice question. –  James S. Cook Jul 7 at 17:49
    
Are you looking for free resources, or are you willing to pay? –  PurpleVermont Jul 7 at 19:54
    
Paid is better, purple, thanks. Thanks to all for these FANTASTIC ANSWERS -- THANK YOU SO MUCH –  Fatster Jul 8 at 6:54

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It looks like there's a lot of moderately useful, or partially coded things out there but nothing that's really comprehensive and does fully what you want.

In terms of the websites that generate PDFs, this one looked reasonably customizable - each of their worksheets had a number of different settings to control what ended up on it: http://www.math-aids.com/

Here's some source code for a math worksheet generator (under a CC-NC-SA license) that might be a good starting point for coding your own. Apparently the author had a coworker with a kid who could do math worksheets faster than the coworker could write them, so he made a program to generate them: https://github.com/davmillar/lasagnadothtml

I can't actually find the webapp anywhere, but this grad student claims to have written a worksheet generator webapp, so you could maybe talk to him about what he was working on: http://math.berkeley.edu/~alvin/resume-tech.pdf

And here's a prototype math worksheet generator from Microsoft, although it is no longer supported by Microsoft. You would give it a particular type of problem and it would generate more of the same: http://www.pil-network.com/Resources/Tools/Details/852875ce-b376-4b49-8f79-41c5cd75b067

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Amazing! Amazingly useful information - just awesome - thank you so much!!!! –  Fatster Jul 8 at 6:56
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Again gang thanks for these UNBELIEVABLY useful links and information. James, the factoid on that old MSFT project was amazingly useful information. It's impossible to choose a "best answer" when all the answers are so good, so I clicked this answer, since that particular piece of information is so rare and awesome. –  Fatster Jul 15 at 11:13
    
Yeah, that one really intrigued me - you give it a problem and it analyzes it and generates a worksheet :) Too bad they stopped work on it... –  James S. Jul 15 at 16:18

There are a number of resources I like out there. I tend to use a variety of different sites for different needs -- I don't think there is one that "does it all" but here are some of my favorites. Most of them are pretty random, though the first few below that have lots of customization options tend to make very usable worksheets, and for some applications the others are great as well.

http://homeschoolmath.blogspot.com/search/label/worksheets has a number of links to individual worksheet generators, each of which has a number of useful parameters you can set to customize the worksheets to your needs. For example, her generator for basic operations worksheets is here: http://www.homeschoolmath.net/worksheets/basic-operations-worksheets.php

http://themathworksheetsite.com/ offers several very nice worksheet generators that you can use for free, plus others that are available by paid subscription.

http://www.math-aids.com/ offers worksheets at all levels, with a good amount of customization. It says through grade 12, but I don't see much beyond Algebra 1 / Geometry.

http://www.kidzone.ws/math/index.htm offers some pre-made and some generated worksheets on topics for elementary school mathematics. They're cute with a little graphic added and laid out nicely. They also offer some word problems that you can re-generate with different numbers plugged in.

http://www.worksheetworks.com/math.html offers generators for a number of topics. Some of the topics, like Geometry and Probability also have some well designed problem solving worksheets available (one well-designed problem, not auto-generated).

http://www.kutasoftware.com/free.html offers free sample worksheets for high school level courses and sells software (that I haven't tried) for creating more. The free samples are pretty basic, but the features of the paid software sound interesting.

Another algebra worksheet generator: http://www.math.com/students/worksheet/algebra_sp.htm

This one has pre-made worksheets for high school math through trig, but they are not generated http://www.mathworksheetsgo.com/ This one is also pre-made worksheets, but there are several instances of each sheet with different numbers.

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An incredibly helpful answer, thank you so much. –  Fatster Jul 8 at 6:55
    
Since you're willing to pay, I think the Math Worksheet Site coupled with the Homeschool Math site will probably meet your needs. –  PurpleVermont Jul 8 at 18:37
    
@Fatster: If you end up using one of these suggestions, I encourage you to come back here and (i) accept this answer, and (ii) leave a comment to note which one you preferred. –  brendansullivan07 Jul 9 at 17:33

Here in South Africa we have a very useful program called MathsBuddy.

MathsBuddy South Africa is a high quality, independent online maths tutoring programme based on the South African curriculum for Grades 1 to 12. MathsBuddy:

  • was developed by experienced teachers,
  • features over 1,800 animated and narrated (full audio-visual) maths lessons and more than 65 000 interactive questions,
  • includes Advanced Programme Maths (AP Maths),
  • offers relevant content for international curricula,
  • available on supported tablets and other mobile devices (Android and Apple platforms),
  • offers a speed skills game to enhance arithmetic speed and accuracy.

I know that MathsBuddy also has platforms in other countries so perhaps they have one for your country? Go to www.mathsbuddy.co.za where they have 150 free lessons that you can try. I currently have 100 of my learners registered on MathsBuddy and it is by far the most helpful program I have worked with.

I encourage all math teachers from all grades to go take a look at this website. It's easy to use, inexpensive (R150 a year here) and your kids will love it.

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Yet another fascinating answer -- again thank you so much to all, it really means a lot! Thank you!! –  Fatster Jul 20 at 18:35

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