# Topic: Problem Solving / General

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Mathematical Practices
Mathematical Practices
• MP1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. (24)
• MP2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (22)
• MP3 - Construct viable arguments and critique others' reasoning. (23)
• MP4 - Model with mathematics. (21)
• MP5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (11)
• MP6 - Attend to precision. (15)
• MP7 - Look for and make use of structure. (27)
• MP8 - Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. (18)

### Fold & Cut

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What shapes can result from the following fold-and-cut process?
Take a piece of paper.
Fold it flat.
Make one complete straight cut.
Unfold the pieces.
Are all shapes possible?

### Cup Stacking

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Begin with a row of cups and end with all of the cups in a single stack. Rules: 1. Count the number of cups in a stack. That stack must jump that number of spaces. For example, 1 cup can only move 1 space; 2 cups have to move 2...

### Balance Beans

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If you start with some beans on a seesaw and you’re given certain additional beans to place on the seesaw, can you do it so the seesaw balances? In this activity, students start by trying to solve various challenges involving different arrangements of beans on the seesaw and then design...

### Liar’s Bingo

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From recognizing a pattern to generating terms, to abstracting and making inferences, tasks based on patterns embody the “low-threshold, high-ceiling” trait of good problems. Liar’s Bingo is all about patterns. This session involves recognizing patterns and searching for underlying structure, number theory, numeration, and potentially binary arithmetic. Sometimes, as in...

### Locked Out: A Breakout Box Session for Your Circle

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Escape Rooms and “Bomb Disposal” activities are growing in popularity as a form of team building and entertainment. This session blends the two ideas to create a cooperative math activity where the challenge is to solve math problems whose solutions generate combinations to open a locked box. The math problems...

### Magic, Latin, & Sudoku Squares

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Squares and numbers, numbers and squares. There is something very satisfying about arranging numbers in a square formation, following specific rules, whether it is a Magic Square, Latin Square or Sudoku. This is probably why Sudoku puzzles are so popular. This session touches on some of the deep mathematics behind...

### Mathemagical Card Tricks

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There are many card tricks based on simple mathematics as opposed to sleight of hand. In this session, participants will play with a number of such tricks, test them out and work on discovering the math underneath, with a goal to formalize the mathematics that makes the trick work.

### Mathematical Games

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This session includes 15 games using manipulatives or paper and pencil. The goal is to decide which one of the two players has a winning strategy. To solve a game means to find a winning, or a non-losing, strategy for one of the players. An answer must include a detailed...

### Mathematical Magic for Muggles

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Presented are several easy-to-perform feats that suggest supernatural powers such as telepathy, “seeing fingers,” predicting the future, photographic memory, etc. Each trick uses simple mathematical ideas that allow information to flow effortlessly and sneakily, among them simple, efficient “coding” parity and other invariants symmetry probability One can approach these activities...

### Optimal Locations of Firehouses (Taxi-cab Metric)

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This session asks participants to expand their notion of “distance,” using a nontraditional taxicab metric instead of the usual Pythagorean notion. Participants are guided to construct the equivalent of “circles” with this new metric and to look at the intersections of multiple such circles. In particular, two firehouses in Gridtown...