These five tasks steer students through several algebraic manipulations of expressions in order to expose how the 'tricks' work.
To understand how each trick works, students have to use the distributive law and are required to to prove equivalence by transforming expressions.
The teacher notes start with a nice simple trick to be used to set up the first activity.
Consecutive Sum adds five consectutive numbers with students showing that the total is five times the middle number.
Pyramid requires students to express consecutive numbers in algebraic fiorm and manipulate expressions to explian how the trick works.
Routes is a trick which can be manipulated by the students who can use their algebra skills to make up their own trick. Students need to be able to multiply a constant oiver a bracket e.g. 3(x+5)
Adding pairs an extension to the consective sum trick by keeping the second number fixed or introducing a second variable.
Calendar activity enables students to explore how certain algebraic representations, such as letting the middle number be x, can be more efficient that others to explain how the trick works.