Students will explore a game between two players moving a chess Queen from place to place on a square grid. The Queen may move any number of spaces to the left, any number of spaces downward, and any number of spaces on the downward-left pointing diagonal. Each player takes turns using these moves. Whoever gets the Queen to the bottom-left square first wins!
Session Style: Work Backwards
The rules to this game are simple -just Don’t Say 13… That should be easy right? This activity will explore a classic math problem, give students an idea of how to strategize, and learn about modular arithmetic.
We will place numbers, starting from the number 1, into our cauldrons. No two numbers in a cauldron can add to another number in the same cauldron. What is the largest number you can place into the two cauldrons without exploding?
In these puzzles, there are circles with numbers and empty circles. The goal is to put whole numbers in empty circles so that each circle has the sum of the digits of numbers connected to it. This is done by adding all the digits you see of each number (the digits of 18 are 1 and 8).
Here is a collection of seven one player games, and one two player game. Your goal in each game is to find the winning strategy. As the rules change, can you still win? Various mathematical strategies can be employed, including working backwards, problem posing, invariants, and parity. Each game can be explored alone or in sets, providing material for several circle sessions or the classroom.
A local animal shelter has a puppies and kittens available for adoption that you just happen to be itching to own! In this week’s “paw-some” activity, two players begin with a certain number of animals to choose from and take turns adopting animals. The player to adopt the last animal wins! We’ll be constructing a strategy for beating this game and exploring a bit of sequences.
Skyscrapers come in so many different sizes! Sometimes you can’t see small skyscrapers if tall ones are in front of them. Using clues about how many skyscrapers you can see from each side you look at them, can you figure out the layout of the entire city?
Your goal is the place the numbers 1 – 9 in a 3 by 3 grid so each row, column, and diagonal add up to the same magic number. Can you find what this magic number is?