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MYSTERY SUMS, PART ONE—DEDUCE THE UNKNOWN ADDENDS

Grades: 4‒8

Students use logical and early algebra reasoning skills to deduce the numerical values of four variables, A, B, C, and D. Students receive clues to these values by dragging pairs of variables across a divider to reveal their sum. By using guess and check or informal algebraic reasoning, students deduce the value of each letter. Students play the game multiple times and create and share their own challenges with each other.

OBJECTIVES 
  • Students will develop a systematic approach for listing and sorting through possible solutions to an algebraic equation.
  • Students will use logical reasoning skills to determine the secret numerical values assigned to variables.
  • Students will develop, refine, and share intuitive strategies for solving algebraic equations without formal symbol manipulation.

COMMON CORE CONNECTIONS 
Mathematical Practices

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (7) Look for and make use of structure.

Content Standards

6.EE2, 5, 6; 7.EE4; 8.EE8

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This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/. If you adapt and/or share this activity, you must attribute it to "KCP Technologies, a McGraw-Hill Education Company." You may distribute it only non-commercially under the same or similar license.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under KCP Technologies Award ID 0918733, with grant period September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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