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Marcy Mathworks consists essentially of two people with four products, Mathimagination and the three Punchline books, all described on this website. The two people are Steve and Janis Marcy, who have been teaching, writing, and speaking about mathematics for over 30 years. Their earlier books were published by Creative Publications.

Steve began his teaching career in 1968. From 1973-76, he attended UCLA full-time and earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology, specializing in learning and instruction. He then returned to the classroom in Santa Monica, California, and taught middle school mathematics there until he retired in 2007.

Janis began her teaching career in 1972, teaching 6th grade in an elementary school. After a year, however, she became a middle school math teacher in Santa Monica, then five years later a high school math teacher at Santa Monica High School.

Steve and Janis published Mathimagination in 1973. This book introduced the use of self-correcting puzzles to provide practice for topics across the middle school math curriculum. Marcy Mathworks published a new edition of this book in 2003. Mathimagination was followed in the 1970's and 1980's with the three "Pizzazz" series of books: Middle School Math with Pizzazz, Pre-Algebra with Pizzazz, and Algebra with Pizzazz.

In 1996, Steve and Janis self-published Punchline Problem Solving. A second edition


 


was published in 2001 and updated in 2006. For the first time, puzzles specifically for coooperative groups were included along with puzzles for individual students. They were designed so that each member of the group must complete his or her part of the puzzle in order to get the punchline. In order to encourage helping and discourage copying, students in a group do essentially the same exercises but with different numbers (and answers). This book focuses on problem solving as it arises across the middle school math curriculum and is intended as a companion for Middle School Math with Pizzazz.

In 2002, Steve and Janis published Punchline Bridge to Algebra. A second edition was published in 2009. This is a comprehensive set of puzzles for virtually all topics in today's pre-algebra and beginning algebra programs. While the puzzles are mostly for individual students, there are also 10 puzzles for partners to work on together.

Steve and Janis most recently published Punchline Algebra containing nearly 300 puzzles in two binders. Puzzles are provided for nearly every topic in today's Algebra 1 textbooks, with an emphasis on problem solving and on modeling real-world situations with equations, tables, and graphs. In 2011 Punchline Algebra became available as an interactive DVD disc.

Steve and Janis have four grown children and live in Los Angeles. We hope you'll have an opportunity to try our books. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Thanks for your support!