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Question

Dear Mitch,

I am a high school teacher on the West Coast. Do you have any of those "super-hard" bonus type questions that are Halloween themed? I'm looking for the type that requires serious problem-solving ability to give to the kids in my gifted classes and know they won't just hand them back solved in a couple of minutes?

Right now, I'm looking at a printout of one you posted last Christmas, which shows balance scales. Based on the balances shown on the first three scales they have to come up with a way to balance fourth. I particularly like that one because it's similar to the ones my Asian students bring in, and their parents would like it if I could do that once in a while, but they're not in our textbook.

Whatever you have would be a great help.

Ms. C,

Los Angeles, CA

Answer

Dear Ms. C,

As a matter of fact, your letter comes at the perfect time!

I am putting finishing touches on something I think is exactly what you're referring to. If you liked the Christmas one you mentioned, I'm pretty sure you'll like this one.

Like the Christmas one you mention, it requires a separate page of diagrams, which you will be able to print out with the touch of a button. Keep your eye out, because it will appear here on this website attached to this question within the next couple of days!

Hope it helps!

Good Luck, and have a great Halloween!

Mitch

Christmas Math, A Question of Balance