Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Using WarmUps in Middle School/HS to Develop Thinking and Review/Apply Skills

My 500 or so subscribers may not have seen the following anagrams which have been in the right sidebar of my home page  for the past month or so. No one has yet taken the time to solve them. They're not that hard! Pls email me at dmarain at gmail dot com with your answers.


(1) Hidden Steps OR

(2) General Arrows

The following problems are similar to ones I posted recently...

Mental Math and No Calculator! 

1)  The following sum has a trillion terms:

0.01 + 0.01 + 0.01 + ... + 0.01 = 1000...0
How many zeros will there be in the sum?

2)  The following product has a trillion factors:

(0.01) (0.01) (0.01) ... (0.01) = 0.000...1
How many zeros after the decimal point will there be in the product?

A Few Comments...
(a) You may want to adjust the "trillion" for your own groups but I'm intentionally using this number for a few reasons, not the least of which is to review large powers of 10 (Will most think: "A million has 6 zeros, a billion has 9 zeros, so a trillion has..."?).

(b) The second one is more challenging and intended for Prealgebra students and above but, using the "Make it simpler" and "Look for a pattern" strategies, make it possible for younger students.

(c)  How many of you are reacting something like: "Is Dave out of his mind? My students don't know their basic facts up to 10 and he wants mental math with a trillion!" I have found that large numbers engage students since they know there is a way of doing these without a lot of work if you know the "secrets"! Besides, we either push our students or we don't. You decide...

(d) These questions review several important concepts and skills. You may want to use these to introduce or review the importance of exponents and their properties. 

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