I had some students in study hall the other day tell me they had nothing to do. I dug through an old file folder that I used to store game type worksheets in to see what I could find. While looking through the files, I found a problem that I was given by my cooperating teacher Ruth Anderson way back in 2002 while I was student teaching. The problem is called "How Grand Is Your Total?".
The students seemed immediately interested, and they asked me what a good score was. I couldn't remember, so I did a quick Google search to see what I could find.
I was immediately pleased to see that Sara VanDerWerf (@saravdwerf) had recently blogged about this exact problem. She even had a fresh looking pdf document linked, and I knew I had struck gold.
I will let you read Sara's post about open middle problems and the origin of "How Grand Is Your Total?" What I'm wondering is if anyone has seen the two other documents that I found in that same dusty file folder. Both are very much like the "How Grand" problem, but each with their own wrinkles.
The first is related to maximizing your total score with exponents. I am almost certain that Mrs. Anderson also gave me this file because it is hand written and looks like her writing. Here is a link to a pdf copy of it.
The second especially cracks me up. Once again, it was given to me by Mrs. Anderson and appears to be printed using an old school dot matrix printer. I remember students working on that way back in 2002 and it being a complete devil of a problem. Talk about having to know your properties of logarithms and understanding how logarithms operate! Here is a link to that one.
If anyone is willing to update these documents for the greater good, please share when you're done. Thanks to Mrs. Anderson (who has since retired from teaching) for being a great mentor and exposing me to open middle problems way before they were called "open middle problems". I'm sorry I left those documents tucked away in a file folder for so long.
For those wondering, I didn't figure out what a "good score" on "How Grand Is Your Total?" yet. I'll leave that up to my students.