Electronic Proceedings of the 12th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics



            Abstract for 12899

            Developing Mathematical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills through

            Card Tricks

            Authors: Poh Yew Teoh

            Affiliations: Creative Wizard Pte. Ltd., Malaysian Invention and

            Design Society, Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers



            Useful mathematical knowledge only becomes really useful when they

            can be recalled and used in other contexts than those in which they

            have been learned. This requires the development of mathematical

            thinking and problem solving skills; not just the proficiency in

            handling mathematical operations. Cognitive theory suggests that

            instruction that actively involves children is the best means in

            helping them to construct mathematical understanding and develop

            more mature thinking patterns. One of the most effective ways to

            actively involve pupils in learning is through mathematical magic.

            Of all branches of mathematical magic, that which is concern with

            playing cards is perhaps the most prolific and exciting. Playing

            cards are one of the most effective, low cost and easily accessible

            manipulative materials that can do wonders in mathematics classroom.

            Mathematical card tricks can serve as an effective means of

            motivation at almost all levels of instruction. In this

            presentation, participants will see two very creative and powerful

            examples of how a single card trick can be made relevant to develop

            mathematical thinking and problem solving skills from preschool to

            high school level. Mathematical concepts involved in these examples

            include ascending/descending orders, addition/subtraction, inductive

            reasoning and arithmetic progression.


            Key Words:

            card tricks, recreational mathematics, mathematical thinking,

            problem solving, constructivism, creativity.


            Target audience:

            Preschool, Primary and Secondary schools mathematics teachers as

            well as teacher trainers.