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What is it?
I absolutely love numbers. I can still remember being at school and learning about perfect numbers, and Fibonacci numbers. A highlight of my childhood that sticks very clearly in my memory is seeing geometrically why two consecutive triangle numbers add up to make a square number. I tried to tell my friends, but they were not all that interested. As you can imagine, I was a big hit with the ladies! Anyway… as a student I would have loved this activity, and now as a teacher I love it even more. Here we have 40 mini investigations / introductions to the fascinating world of numbers, each of which fits neatly onto a single A4 page. All the big names are here, and I few I had not heard of: Cunningham Chain and Bell Numbers, anybody?
How can it be used?
Activities like these are ideal to have up your sleeve for single lessons. We have a rule in our department that if you finish a particular topic area early, you do not go onto the next one until the specified time, and instead you can do rich tasks, enrichment, etc on a topic area of your choice. These investigations fit the bill perfectly for that job. I have found that even the most reluctant of students likes playing around with numbers, especially seeing as many of these investigations fall into that all-important “low barrier, high ceiling” category, so all students can make the early progress needed to motivate them. These could also work well as part of a Number Investigation week, or end of term project. And they are suitable for all ages and abilities. Amazing stuff!
Thank you for sharing!
Download Investigating Special Numbers
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