This activity, written to comply with the NCTMURL http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons/cnotes.htmlStandards,and to support theTexas 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:

- 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."- Then demonstrate assigning variables to the different days and writing and solving the equation.
- Let students practive solving the puzzle with each other.
- Demonstrate creating a different puzzle.
- 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:

Algebra TEKS111.32b - 3A; 4A; 4B- TAAS 2a; 2f; 12a
- End-of-Course Algebra 4; 9

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