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This activity opens with a cartoon in which two characters present students with directions for arriving at a special number. Students then correlate their special number with a letter of the alphabet and choose a color that begins with that letter. The characters bet that the color is yellow, and students are challenged to discover why the bet would be correct. The activity is one of 80 mathematical challenges featured on the Figure This! web site. It introduces algebraic procedures and notes their uses in calculating medicine doses and working with spreadsheets. The answer demonstrates an algebraic representation in which the students' special number is added and subtracted such that it does not affect the answer. Related questions present additional number tricks for students to solve. Answers to all questions and links to resources are included. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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