This puzzle, along with most of the other puzzles that I write, is a mental exercise in integrating, reviewing, and blending. I want to integrate more than one subject in a learning activity, cross-curricular learning as it were. All of life’s experiences are integrated activities. I want to review previous material a student (puzzle doer) has been exposed to. We get better at tasks in life by repetition. I want to blend a learning experience with as many other learning situations as I can. Few life experiences are isolated happenings.
This puzzle blends some mental math which uses some elementary arithmetic with learning a little about the history, lore, and records of Major League Baseball..
There IS an explanation of the mental math processes that accompanies the puzzle which reviews/explains the process for the student (puzzle doer) who needs some take home assistance or review. (The next paragraph IS that explanation.)
First, frequently addition and subtraction can be done mentally by “over-subtracting.” Consider 736 - 198. Instead of subtracting 198, subtract 200, it’s easier to subtract from 736. So,
736 – 200 is 536. But you subtracted two too much, so add the two back on to the 536 to get 538, which is the difference betwixt 736 and 198. This also works for adding. Consider
736 + 198. 198 is hard to add mentally, so add 200 . . . to get 936. But you just added two more than you were supposed to, so subtract two away . . . to get that 736 + 198 must equal 934.
Second, you can use the distributive property . . . “the other direction.” Consider a problem like 5 ∙ 32 + 5 ∙ 18. Factor away (or pull out) the 5 to get 5 ∙ (32 + 18). That’s what the problem was before the 5 was distributed. This time it’s easier to add the 32 and 18 first, THEN multiply. 32 + 18 is 50, and 50 times the 5 is 250.
Baseball Opening Day, History by the Numbers, Mental Math Batting Practice
by Jay Waggoner, Value Added Publishing
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License