Mathwire.com

# November 2005

## Featured Topic:   Problem Solving

This Mathwire.com webpage continues to grow with the addition of many open-ended problems that link to Everyday Math units in Grades 3 - 4.   These open-ended assessments require students to analyze patterns and explain solutions.

New problems for Grades 5-8 address number patterns in factors and exponents.   Thirteen Ways challenges students' spatial sense as they try to find all 13 ways to show 1/2 of the given figure.

• See Problem Solving webpage for problems and links to problems for students in Grades K-8.
• See Fall into Math webpage for fall problems including discrete math topics.
• See Winter Math Activities webpage for winter problem solving activities and additional discrete math problems.

• Download     Ants Marching for sample open-ended problem designed to assess student understanding of the concept of multiplication as arrays.
• Download     Marathon Training, a pattern problem that encourages students to use an input/output table to organize the data and the solution.
• Download     Pumpkin Picking, another pattern problem that can be solved using a picture or an input/output table. [Contributed by Shannon Collier, Joseph C. Caruso School, Keansburg, NJ]
• Download     Baseball Season for a pattern problem that is easily solved using a table of values.

• Download     Monkey Business which also requires students to work backward to figure out how many coconuts there were before each monkey ate one and took a third of what was left. (Grades 5-8)
• Download     Factor Investigation which challenges students to list all factors of the numbers 1-25 and identify the numbers as abundant, deficient, perfect, prime.   Students can refer to this list when playing Factor Blaster or Factor Game. (Grades 5-8)
• Download     Investigating Exponents which challenges students to identify the different patterns found in the units digits of numbers raised to different powers. (Grades 5-8)
• Download     Thirteen Ways Recording Sheet so students can record the thirteen ways to shade the diagram to represent 1/2 as found on the PBS Cyberchase website listed on the Recording sheet. (Grades 5-8)

Check the New on Mathwire.com webpage to see what's new on the site.

## Turkey Glyphs

Students in Mrs. Bestle's first grade created turkey glyphs that tell a story about how they celebrate Thanksgiving and what foods they like to eat on that special day.

## Fall into Math

Seasonal Math Activities:   Check out the Fall into Math page for these math activities:

• Measurement Man is a great hands-on activity as students assemble the pieces which build on student experience with cut-paper fractions.   Students are able to visualize the relationship among these different units of capacity as they cut and assemble the figure.   Consider adding a pointed cap and some raffia straw to create a field of scarecrows, just perfect for fall.

• Pascal's Pumpkins   encourages students to look for patterns in Pascal's Triangle.   The handout develops awareness of this important mathematical pattern through this timely seasonal activity.   Students who take higher math courses will meet Pascal again in many different applications, including probability.   This handout is an outgrowth of the Rutgers Discrete Math Institute.
• Use Pascal's Penguins from the Winter Math Activities to revisit this pattern in a winter motif.   See the picture below.   Two versions are available to download.

## Winter Math Activities

Math activities on this Mathwire.com Seasonal Math web page include:

• Koch Snowflake
• Penguin Math
• Snowflake Activities
• Snowman Problem Solving
• Literature Connections
• Winter Glyphs
• Winter Data Collection
• Winter Coordinate Graphing
• Holiday Problem Solving
• Student Work: Winter Math Activities

See Winter Math Activities for more details on these activities.

## Featured Link: Do You SuDoku?

The Sudoku Puzzles have become very popular with adults.   The challenge is to place each of the digits 1-4 or 1-6 or 1-9 in each box within the larger puzzle box so that no digit appears twice in any row or column.   The puzzles require logic to reason through the placement of specific digits and the ability to scan the entire puzzle for starting clues.   Now teachers can also use this popular format with students, thanks to this SuDoku for Kids website.

• Daily SuDoku for Kids presents easier versions of the SuDoku puzzles especially designed for younger students.   Each SuDoku is rated as easy, medium or hard so that teachers can select the most appropriate versions for their students.   An archive of past SuDoku problems and answers are available and are easily printed for use with students.   Consider introducing this problem-solving activity as an enrichment or center activity for interested students.   Solving the problems requires logic, methodical approach and persistence.
• Download the     SuDoku Templates to use as a reusable overhead or place the templates in sheet protectors so that students can use dry erase markers to solve the posted SuDoku problems and then reuse the templates for future problems.   Both 4x4 and 6x6 SuDoku problem grids are included so that teachers are able to differentiate problems for students in their classes.

## Browse Other Activities on Mathwire.com

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