Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Problem Solving

Take advantage of the seasonal preoccupation with pumpkins to include some problem solving activities.  These seasonal activities include the student handout and a detailed possible solution, both in PDF format for easy downloading and printing.

  • Pascal's Pumpkins is an activity from the Rutger's Discrete Math collection, revised by Mathwire, that challenges students to analyze the patterns in order to complete the array. The file contains the student handout as well as an explanation of the different patterns students may find and the solution.
  • Pumpkin Picking challenges students to solve a pattern problem. The solution provided details how students might use a table to organize the data and easily identify the correct answer to this problem.
  • Pumpkin Farm is a sneaky way to get students to analyze the meaning of remainders in long division. Students must figure out which character will be the 100th to be printed on a neon signboard. The file contains the student handout as well as a detailed possible solution.
  • Jack-o-Lantern Combinations challenges students to figure out how many different pumpkins may be made, given the assortment of eyes, noses and mouths. This problem provides an opportunity to expose students to the concept of orderly counting where they exhaust all possibilities for one component before moving to the next, so that they exhaust all possibilities without duplication.
Be sure to check out more fall math activities on Mathwire.com.

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