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1 Distributivity and related number tricks Notes: No calculators are to be used Each group of exercises is preceded by a short discussion of the concepts involved and one or two examples to be worked out with the class before students start working on their own on that section A fairly quick tempo of solutions discussions can be kept during the arithmetic problems Not all parts of a question need be solved, some (preferably those similar to ones already solved) can be left as homework Resources Question sheets one per student

2 Distracting Distributivity Counting squares: The Distributivity Law: 1 Mental Arithmetic: and a) Try these for a warm up: b) Quick multiplication: try these in your head or on paper using distributivity: c) Use a distributivity trick to solve these and exercises: d) Solve these as fast as you can without a calculator: i) ii ) i 2 Difference of two squares: a) Quick multiplication: Solve these without a calculator or long multiplication: b) Find a square number with the property that adding 101 to it gives you another square number c) Find the larger number in each of these pairs: i) or? or +7? 3 More Arithmetic Tricks: a) Find, and without using any calculators: Find, and without using any calculators: 4 Products of negative numbers and distributivity a) It s easy to see that But why is it that? b) We now know that and for all numbers Can you also explain why the following properties are true for all numbers and : i) i

3 5 Squares of sums and differences Counting squares: In general, for any two unknown numbers and The Square of a Sum formula: a) The number 13 has some strange property: If you read 13 backwards, and square: Find more two-digit numbers with the same property Explain why it works b) Think of a number Add 10 to it Multiply your result by the original number Add 25 Take the square root Subtract 5 What do you get? Does it always work the same way? Explain c) In each of the following equations, solve for Area: i) Hint: In the picture to the right, you have a square of side with a missing corner Find the area of the missing corner then add it on to both sides of the equation above? Hint: As above, write the left hand side as the area of a square with a missing corner Add the missing corner to both sides The Square of a Difference formula: d) Try to solve these without using your calculator or long multiplication: e) Add a number to to get a square of the form Using this, what is the smallest value that the expression can take for random values of? f) The result of each of these calculations is an integer number Find it in each case: 6 A mind-reader computer programme: Play this game a number of times Can you explain what s going on?

4 Distracting Distributivity - Solutions Counting squares: Working backwards to count the blue squares: gets distributed to 5 and Clearly the same counting argument works if we replace 4, 2, 3 by any unknown numbers and They may be positive or negative The Distributivity Law: (When working with letters, it is customary to omit the sign, especially when it can be confused with So stands for while stands for 1 Mental Arithmetic: and With some practice and the Distributivity Law you can get to mentally solve multiplication problems like or Examples: i) = 6732 and Practice exercises: a) Try these for a warm up: b) Quick multiplication: try these in your head or on paper using distributivity: c) Use a distributivity trick to solve these and exercises: d) Solve these as fast as you can without a calculator: i) ii ) i Solutions: a) i) i 4375 b)i) i 624,375 c) Write 18=20-2 and 198=200-2: i) i d) 6,999,993 2 Difference of two squares Example: Let s try without long multiplication The trick is to notice that

5 while 4 so: General trick: Take any two numbers, call them and Then the product between their difference and their sum is: Proof: Example: and so we can apply the difference of squares formula for and Practice exercises: a) Quick multiplication: Solutions: i) i b) Find a square number with the property that adding 101 to it gives you another square number Solution: Let the unknown square number be Then Subtract from both sides to get We could try the simultaneous equations To get and c) Find the larger number in each of these pairs: i) or? or +7? Solution: i) The first number is while the second is, larger The two numbers are equal Indeed, in the first fraction we can multiply both numerator and denominator by +7 to get: = 3 More Arithmetic Tricks: Sometimes it pays to pay attention to repeating terms in long calculation For example, if a number comes up in two different products and, then writing like can simplify things considerably Example: Find and B without using any calculators or long multiplication:

6 Solution: We notice that 3333 comes up twice in this calculation, so we re going to use distributivity Since it doesn t matter in which order we do the additions and subtractions, A= = 3333 = 3333 = = No factor repeats in, but some numbers are just too similar to each other Let s write Now we move 499 to be the last in the sum, so that we can use distributivity for 1111 Practice exercises: a) Find, and without using any calculators: Solutions: Or

7 4 Products of negative numbers and distributivity a) It s easy to see that But why is it that? Answer: Distributivity! Once people noticed the property for all positive numbers, they decided that the negative numbers must abide by it as well When trying to calculate, they first thought about the meaning of They remembered that was defined by the condition From here, all they had to do was put a into the equation and use distributivity: But so the equation above says, that is In fact, the same proof works for any positive numbers and b) We now know that and for all numbers Can you also explain why the following properties are true for all numbers and : i) i Answers: b) i) Both and are solutions of to the question Both and are solutions of to the question Or, and apply distributivity i Both and are solutions of to the question Or, and apply distributivity BTW: Long multiplication/division and distributivity The Distributivity Law is the reason behind the long multiplication and long division algorithms a) Long multiplication for : First 761 is split from right to left: Then by distributivity: = = The long multiplication is a particular arrangement of the numbers with alignment by the last digit, like this:

8 where, in the first row, 23 = 23 1, in the second row, 1380 = 23 60, and, in the third row, = In time, people have tired of writing the trailing zeros that are due to the powers of 10, and now remember them just by the placement of the other digits (Copied from : Check the website for a nice Java applet and other resources ) b) Long division is also a consequence of the Distributivity Law: Long division splits this into steps by teasing out the hundreds, the tens and then the units: Squares of sums Counting squares: In general, for any two unknown numbers and The Square of Sum formula: Example: Mental arithmetic: Practice exercises: a) The number 13 has some strange property: If you read 13 backwards, and square: Find all two-digit numbers with the same property Answer: In general, a number with digits and will square like this: while the number read backwards squares like

10 Answer: Complete So f) The result of each of these calculations is an integer number Find it in each case: i) Answer: 7 A mind-reader computer programme: Play this game a number of times: Can you explain what s going on? Hint: Since we can t seriously believe that the computer is a mind reader, it must be that the programme assigns the same shape to all the possible answers to the problem Play again and check the numbers having the same shape as your solution Notice any special property? Now try to prove it! Solution: All possible answers to the problem are divisible by 9 Let s suppose that the number is written AB, with A the tens digits and B the unit digit Then the number is equal to and the number read backwards is (Here means, similarly ) The difference between the number and the number read backwards is Which is always divisible by 9!

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