An Evening of Math II

Tonight I gave the kids the choice of doing more partitions, or something else. They chose something else. In the book Math Tricks, Puzzles & Games by Raymond Blum mathtricks I found this problem:


Try to connect each rectangle with the triangle that has the same number.  Lines cannot cross or go outside the diagram.

When I showed the problem to the kids, A was very upset and said that she didn’t know how to do it because she had never learned.  She threw a fit and started drawing a picture instead of working on it.  B immediatly started working on it.  He worked for about 20 minutes, drawing lines, erasing, drawing more lines.  He eventually got frustrated, saying that it was impossible.  In spite of A’s protests I brought her over next to B and had him explain what he had tried, and why it was impossible.  B connected rectangle 1 to triangle 1, then connected rectangle 2 to triangle 2, but at that point rectangle 3 was completely cut off from triangle 3.  Then A took a pencil and a copy of the puzzle and without pausing connected rectangle 1 to triangle 1 and rectangle 3 to triangle 3.  Just as B was saying that she wouldn’t be able to connect the last pair, she did!

Getting A to look at a problem is 95% of the battle.  I reminded her that it was B’s work on the problem that helped her to her solution.

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2 Responses to An Evening of Math II

  1. sally says:

    so how do you do it??????? wuts the awnser

  2. toomai says:

    Maybe I’ll upload an image of the solution sometime. But the order that A connected them in is a BIG hint. Connect rectangle 1 to triangle 1. You can do this with a straight line. Then connect rectangle 3 to triangle 3. This will not be a straight line. You will have to loop down around triangle 1. Finally connect rectangle 2 to triangle 2. This will be a very serpentine line. First you will have to go down around triangle 1 then loop all the way around triangle 3 before coming back to triangle 2. Good luck!

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