 Connecting Mathematicians of All Ages

# Topic: Algebra / Arithmetic

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### Investigating the Surface Area of Prisms

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Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this module enables students to build understanding about surface area. Students will complete three tasks dealing with surface area and volume of rectangular and triangular prisms, including a real world investigation, presented in Three Acts. The tasks will go from the concrete to the abstract as students gain understanding of what it really means to calculate surface area and volume. The module includes a refresher on area and perimeter.

### Supreme Court Handshakes

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Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this session is a good introduction to the 8th grade or Algebra Math curriculum using inquiry based instruction. Students are asked to use their problem solving skills in order to determine the relationship between the number of Supreme Court justices and handshakes that occur when each pair shakes hands exactly once. Students will begin exploring with simpler numbers and work up to creating an algebraic expression to represent the function. This lesson allows for multiple representations by using a table, list, circle diagram, matrix and manipulatives.

### Function, Function, What’s Your Model?

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Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this session is an introduction to functions. This module allows students to investigate the definition of a function, function notation, key features of a function including increasing, decreasing (in both interval and inequality notation), maximum and minimum, average rate of change and domain and range.

Materials include a full packet of worksheets pertaining to this unit (54 pages). This part of the unit (not including transforming functions) should take about six hours of class time.

### Measuring Up: “Perfect” Rulers

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Is it possible to measure all possible integer lengths on a ruler without marking every integer on that ruler? This is an engaging and challenging problem for all. Beautiful mathematics can be revealed while delving deeper into this seemingly easy question.

### Conway’s Rational Tangles

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What do adding positive and negative fractions have to do with tying knots? In this entertaining lesson, students will use ropes to explore and identify mathematical operations that untangle knots and lead to new thinking. Simple operations of twists and rotations circle back to practicing the addition of positive and negative fractions.

### Bubbling Cauldrons

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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?

### Digit Sums

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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).

### Magic Squares

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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?

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