Friday 26 October 2018

Math thinking - with puzzle cards

We routinely put out Math puzzle cards for our Upper Elementary kids to try.

The purpose is to get them to enjoy maths, think, and experience the satisfaction of figuring out a solution. The focus is not on "correct " answers, but to develop and  express mathematical thinking. Kids formulate their answers and have long discussions with  the teacher adding to the enjoyable math experience.

This was the current week's card:

One 5th grade child made a list of numbers and sorted them into "cans" and "cannots". She observed a pattern. She saw that each odd number could be expressed as a sum of consecutive numbers. Then she saw that some of the even numbers - she called them "doubling numbers" 1,2,4,8,16....  cannot be represented as sum of consecutive positive integers while all other even numbers can. She reasoned - "2 is a 'cannot ' number, and the rest are its doubles. So even they can't be sums of consecutive numbers"

(Handwriting in pen is the teacher checking her solution)

Pretty cool huh?

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