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Algebra Magic - Create Your Own Number Puzzles

Many people think of algebra as dealing with solving equations that have letters and numbers, and that it is completely unrelated to anything outside the math classroom. Also, teachers have a difficult time motivating students to learn algebra. I have found that not only are number/magic puzzles quite common outside the classroom, but also that they motivate students, and that teachers can successfully use such number puzzles as an interesting lead-in to algebra. Here I discuss two number/magic puzzles that can be demystified and explained by using algebra.

Ramakrishnan Menon
Date Accepted: 2003-09-04 Grade Group: Middle School (6-8) Benchmarks: M2.3.11 M8.3.1 M8.3.12 Keywords: number puzzles algebra mathematical tricks Microsoft Word: 07_03_03_1.docx PDF Document: 07_03_03_1.pdf