Tuesday, February 15, 2011

List the NINE 2-digit PRIMES which...

Here are the last two math challenges I just tweeted for middle schoolers and beyond. You may want to use this as a fifteen minute activity to improve reading, review basic terms and concepts, develop reasoning and writing in math. There was an error on the 2nd question as it originally appeared on Twitter. I then corrected it.

List the nine 2-digit primes which produce prime numbers when their digits are reversed.

List the SIX 3-digit primes which produce primes when their digits are written in ALL possible orders. 137 fails b/c 371 is not prime.

For both questions students should work in teams of 2-4.

For the first question, students should not be allowed to use a calculator!

For the second one, have them experiment with a calculator for a few minutes. If a student thinks they found one, their teammates must verify it! After 3 minutes ask: "Have you noticed that the numbers you're looking for cannot contain certain digits like 2. What digits and why? Discuss it and one member of the team must record the team's findings and provide a written explanation!

After 3-4 more minutes, have them refer to a table of primes online (or print it and hand out a copy to each team). If they don't find it within the 15 min time limit, have them finish it for extra credit for the next day.

Here is one of the numbers: 113. Good luck!

"All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed... Second, it is Violently Opposed... Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860)

"You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught." --from South Pacific