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Math Lab 5
Multiplying Polynomials With Strange Dice

Shawn Urban, 2005, EDIT 489, Secondary Education, Faculty of Education, U. of Alberta

Students work on several aspects and levels of polynomial multiplication (Alberta Education 2015) deeply embedded in a recreational inquiry cover story and challenge. They use technology and imagination to find how traditional Western and Chinese dice mathematically function, and then, within given constraints, to create new dice with the same probability distribution. Ultimately, they explore the patterns and processes of the Mathematics underlying the math - how for instance to multiply and factor polynomials and what each factor contributes to dice probability distribution and die face value.

Note, these tasks can be modified, in the tradition of Brown and Walter (2005), to suit student needs. For instance, the task may include spreadsheet manipulation, spreadsheet creation or not, providing three levels of the task.

Task Worksheet

Worksheet: Spreadsheets and Strange Dice (Urban 2005.)


Alberta Education. (2015). Mathematics, Grades 10-12. Edmonton, Alberta: Crown in Right of Alberta.

Brown, S.I.; and Walter, M.I. (2005). The Art of Problem Posing. Third edition. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Urban, S. (2005). Personal Communication. Strange Dice. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta.

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