Electronic Proceedings of the 12th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics



Abstract for 12860

Learning Algebra the Creative and Magical Way

Authors: Poh Yew Teoh

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

Design Society, Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers

Keywords: , algebra, mathematical magic, card tricks, creativity


Algebra seems to be a subject that some students find it trivial but

most find it difficult. In order to pursue mathematics to a higher

level, students must certainly learn to use algebra, but perhaps

first and foremost they should learn to see it, to discover it, to

play with it and to be surprised by it. Since our students seldom

see any application of algebra in their daily life, we, mathematic

educators can develop their interest in algebra by adopting some

creative approach such as mesmerizing them with mathematical magic.

Many students have difficulty making the transition from arithmetic

to algebra. Often this difficulty first appears when students

attempt to create algebraic equations to represent word problems. In

this workshop the participants will discover several amazing

mathematical magic using Flash and card tricks that can be explained

by translating the magical phenomena into algebraic terms or

equations. To further enhance the algebraic concept learnt,

mathematics educators will see some examples as how we can prompt

students to invent their own magic or to improve on the existing

magic. Mathematical Content Covered: "Translating magical phenomena

into algebraic terms or equations", "Simplifying algebraic

expression", "Expansion and factorization", "Quadratic equations"


Target audience: Upper primary and lower secondary schools

mathematics teachers as well as teacher trainers