Friday, August 22, 2014

An Algebra Puzzle to Start The Year! Grades 6-10

As I posted on Twitter today (@dmarain)...

If I were to give you $50 we'd have the same amount. If you were to give me $50 I'd have 9 times as much as you. How much do we each have?

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1. This was not intended to be highly challenging. It might engage students early in the year and I designed it to be accessible to most.

2. The language is open to interpretation by design! We want students to feel some disequilibrium. But we don't have to resolve ambiguities. I let my students do that among themselves.

3. Before jumping into an algebraic solution, I would allow my students to experiment with numbers - call it "plug in" or Guess-Test-Revise. After all on standardized tests this is what many will do in spite of all the algebra we teach!

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