Cynthia Lanius

Calendar Teachers' Notes


This activity, written to comply with the NCTM Standards, and to support the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) uses a fun mathematical puzzle to demonstrate solving a simple linear equation. It's an average math trick, but it's an excellent activity to demonstrate algebraic applications.

Grade Levels: 6-9 (Pre-Algebra or Algebra)

Activity Procedures:

  1. Show students a calendar. (Overhead transparency works nicely and can be printed from here.) and play the trick with them a couple of times. Students will say, "How did you do that?" Answer "I used algebra."
  2. Then demonstrate assigning variables to the different days and writing and solving the equation.
  3. Let students practive solving the puzzle with each other.
  4. Demonstrate creating a different puzzle.
  5. Explain how they will make their own puzzle.

Mathematics Topics: Assigning variables, solving simple linear equations, factoring

Connecting Mathematics: Connects algebra to real-world experiences.

Materials and media: A monthly calendar

Suggested Assessment: Evaluate student-designed puzzles. Observe as they play their puzzles.

Texas Curriculum Documentation:


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lanius@math.rice.edu
URL http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons/cnotes.html