The School Fair Necklaces Problem

posted Jun 21, 2017, 6:36 PM by Patrick Johnson   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 6:38 PM ]
Today students were challenged to solve this interesting problem from Youcubed.org. Students had to figure out all the combinations of necklaces that had 4 yellow and 4 red beads on it. Also, each necklace must be symmetrical (see picture below). 

Students took a variety of approaches to solve this problem. Some used pattern blocks, tiles or cubes where as others represented the necklaces using coloured squares. Also one group of students represented the beads using letters (y and r) whereas another group of students represented the beads using numbers (1 and 2). Students found a total of 6 combinations. One of the strategies that students discussed was finding one combination, then swapping the colours of the beads to find a second combination. What great math thinking!





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