When high school senior Matt Forsythe discovers a weird computer and a secret door at school, a series of events unfolds where he and his friends solve one mathematical puzzle after another. After finding a teleportal, they travel to a strange world where numbers are actually alive! There they meet the mad scientist Maglio and the ghostly Fifty-Seven and discover that some of the numbers are mysteriously disappearing.
Charles Fischer has taught in public and private schools in a variety of settings, from rural Maine to inner city Atlanta. In the past 20 years, he has worked with a wide range of students from 4th grade to AP English and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year four times. He has his Master’s degree in Teaching & Learning from the University of Southern Maine, and received his B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Binghamton University. His fist novel, Beyond Infinity, won a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award bronze medal (YA fiction). His areas of expertise are in Socratic seminar, dialogue, listening, inquiry, and critical & creative thinking. He is currently working on a three book series focused on all of these territories.
I remember coming across this exact rearrangement with 17.5% and being blown away! I have wondered since how often students could solve complex problems if they only knew how to rearrange or reframe them.
Sometimes a rearrangement is easier to solve than the original problem, mainly because certain operations are easier to perform mentally. For example, in England one of the tax rates is 17.5 percent. This might at first seem like a really weird and awkward number to work with, but a closer look makes it relatively easy to calculate. 17.5 percent can be rearranged as 10% + 5% + 2.5%. Ten percent is just a decimal place shift; five percent is half of that and two point five percent is half again. So, 17.5 percent of 400 is just 40 (decimal shift) + 20 (half) + 10 (half of that), or 70.