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Tiling Rectangles with Integer-Sided Squares Algebra and Perfect Rectangles

Algebra is the mathematics of using letters to represent possible numbers to solve complex problems.

We had the K-3rd graders look at one or two values of square dimension and then fill in the rectangle with all square dimensions using the information given. For example, if a square shared a side with two other squares with dimensions of 3 and 4, that larger square has a dimension of 7. If a square has a dimension that is the difference between a larger square of 10 and a smaller square of 3, its dimension is 7. Then we use a "work around" strategy to complete the puzzle.

Tiling the Rectangle into Smallest Number of Squares of any Dimension

What is the smallest number of squares of any size we can dissect a rectangle of a given dimension? This was our challenge this week as we explored the strategy of breaking up rectangles into the largest squares possible in order to minimize the number of squares. 

Cake Method: Converting Any Decimal Number to Any Base Number Using Repeated Short Division

When I was your children’s age and I discovered the short division method, I became entranced with dividing any number by 2 and then dividing that quotient by 2 and so on. I began dividing each number right on top of the other and it resembled a multi-tiered cake. 

Short Division by 2, 3, 5, 11, 17, and 36 with and without Remainders

Ever since I was in 2nd grade and became fascinated by division, my teachers were relentless in their preoccupation with long-division. I could not believe that this was the fastest way to do division without a calculator so I endeavored to develop my own strategy I call “short division.” Why is it better?

Hexadecimal Number System Converted to Decimal

We spent several weeks studying the Mayan vegidecimal (Base 20) number system with 20 symbols, then the binary (Base 2) system used by computers with only 1s and 0s, and last week, used the binary system to look at exponential decay using 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and so on.