Research

January 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm

# Klein Co-Authors Math Circle Article on ‘Liar’s Bingo’

Dr. Robert Klein, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Ohio University, co-authored an article on “Liar’s Bingo” in the national newsletter of the Math Teachers’ Circle community.

“Bob Klein and Steve Phelps’ featured session on “Liar’s Bingo” is a great illustration of collaboration across MTCs in Ohio, where there is now a statewide network of MTCs supported by a grant from the Ohio Board of Regents,” says Brianna Donaldson, Director of Special Projects for the American Institute of Mathematics. The Math Teachers’ Circle Network is a project
of the American Institute of Mathematics.

Patterns are one of Math Circles’ great levelers. From recognizing a pattern to generating terms, to abstracting and making inferences, tasks based on patterns embody the “low-threshold, high-ceiling” trait of good problems. Liar’s Bingo is all about patterns, and we have used it with kids aged 11 to 75 years old. We’ve had a Grade 3 special education teacher work side-by- side with an AP Calculus teacher to understand what makes it work, with each teacher finding challenges and rewards in the problem.

Liar’s Bingo is played with strips of paper containing a 1 x 6 array of positive integers, some colored black and some red. Six sample strips are included in the figure at right (one strip per row). A complete set may be found at http://mathteacherscircle.org; these should be cut into individual strips and shuffled before using. Begin by passing out handfuls of strips to groups of participants. Ask them to “Put the strips in order.” This request often leaves participants dumbfounded for a moment: “What order should we put them in?” or “Do you mean numerical order?” are typical questions. We are purposefully vague at this point, for we want the participants to study the cards and look for underlying patterns themselves.