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Welcome to the 2016 MidSchoolMath National Conference!

Session scheduling is limited to registered attendees - all attendees should receive schedule access via email by Jan. 4 or within two business days of registering. Click on the "More Information" link for detailed directions on accessing SCHED and signing up for concurrent sessions.

Programming begins each morning at 8:15 am sharp, ending at 4:30 pm on Friday, followed by a social hour from 5:00 - 6:30 pm; and ends at 4:15 pm on Saturday.

Please note, schedule is subject to change.

To learn more about MidSchoolMath or register to attend the conference, please visit www.midschoolmathnationalconference.com or email conference@midschoolmath.com.


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Saturday, February 20 • 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Numeric and Algebraic Expressions from Geometric Patterns of Squares FULL

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Squares can fit together in a variety of interesting patterns. Some, like grids and checkerboards, are simple but versatile visual tools for understanding topics like multiplication and area. Others, like the Fibonacci Spiral or the Squared Rectangles described by Martin Gardner, are more intricate, and lead to more advanced concepts.

In this session, we will present a series of interesting diagrams which help lead students to write equations and expressions, first with numbers and then with variables. We begin with diagrams which are puzzles: can you figure out the sizes of the squares without measuring, using only their relationships to each other?

Teachers and students alike have found these puzzles intriguing and motivating. Solution methods range from visual estimation, to guess and check, to numerical reasoning, to algebraic reasoning. All of these solution methods then lead into the second set of diagrams, where our goal is more focused: write expressions to show the relationships between the different square sizes. We consider numeric diagrams first, and then generalize these to algebraic diagrams. We will also have some challenge problems that relate to systems of linear equations, tilings of the plane, and other advanced topics.

avatar for Ted Stanford

Ted Stanford

Associate Professor, New Mexico State University
I am a topologist by temperament and training, which means I have trouble telling the difference between a donut and a coffee cup, or between a five-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill. I managed to earn a PhD in 1993, after which I had faculty positions at the University of California... Read More →

Saturday February 20, 2016 1:10pm - 2:25pm MST
Lamy Santa Fe Community Convention Center