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This problem encourages students to think about the properties of numbers. The use of an interactivity provides an engaging "hook" to stimulate students' curiosity and draws them into the structure of linear sequences and straight line graphs. It also provides a natural language, that of the "times table" and "shift" for talking about remainders and modular arithmetic.
Now show the interactivity from the problem, and alert the students that it does something slightly different (but don't tell them what!). Generate a set of numbers using Level 1 or 2, and give the class a short time to discuss with their partner what they think the computer has done.
Do the same a couple more times, without any whole-class sharing, but giving pairs a little time to refine their ideas. Then bring the class together and discuss what they think is going on. Link what they say to the terminology of "Table" and "Shift" used in the interactivity.
Emphasise that the table should always be the largest possible, and the shift should always be less than the table. This example could be used to bring these ideas out:
Possible suggestions that might emerge:
But we are interested in
Group students in pairs at a computer or with a tablet and challenge them to develop a strategy to find the table and shift with ease for Levels 1 and 2. Once they can confidently answer Level 1 and 2 questions, they can move on to Levels 3 and 4 where they are given random terms from the shifted times table instead of the first five terms. While students are working, circulate and listen out
for students who have developed useful strategies that they can share with the rest of the class.
If computers are not available for students, use the interactivity to generate a dozen or so examples at appropriate levels, and write them on the board for the class to work on. Students could also work in pairs and create examples for their partners to work out, or work on the examples on this worksheet.
Once students are confident at finding the times table and the shift, ask them to work on the following questions:
Finally, bring the class together to discuss these questions and then generate a Level 4 example. Invite students to explain how they would tackle it.
Here is an account of one teacher's approach to using this problem.
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