My Special Number

"My Special Number" is a major project in the first unit of the 6th grade Connected Math program. From the program website:

My Special Number. Students choose a "special number" and use all they have learned in the unit to describe mathematical properties and real-world applications or occurrences of their numbers.

Ben did this project; he chose 48 and wrote a whole essay in praise of 48.

Ben's My Special Number essay

Project #1: My special number
by Ben Johnston

My special number is 48.

I chose that number because it's not prime, both of its digits are even, it's divisible by 3 and 4, it's the second closest number to 50, which is halfway to 100, and its digits are two of its factors.

48 connects me to my world, because I have 48 hours out of school on the weekend. The number of pepperonis on a pizza could be 48. In 48 more months I'll be able to get my driver's license.

I love that little edu-phrase: 48 connects me to my world. I think he had help with that.

Special Numbers in Action

Found in an article entitled "The Delusions of Dennis W", by Susan Sarhady:

Joseph Sobran said, "In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching Remedial English in college." Well, just 25 years ago we taught long division in grade school and then work our way up to fractions, decimals, exponents and even statistics in junior high. Now we assign the “My Special Number Project” as part of the Connected Math curriculum in sixth grade. This six-week project reads, “Many people have a number they find interesting. Choose a whole number between 10 and 100 that you especially like. In your journal, record your number, explain why you chose that number, list 3 or 4 mathematical things about your number, list three or four connections you can make between your number and your world.” Well, my special number is 3.14159. Somehow I doubt I’d get a very good grade for that.

Vlorbik's My Special Number Essay

My special number
by VlorbikDotCom

6 = 1 + 2 + 3.
6 = 1 * 2 * 3.
6 connects me to my world.
i like clipper ships.

Brenda's Special Number
Well, it's not my special number, but I hear that "three... is a magic number." Sorry, couldn't resist -- I was raised on Schoolhouse Rock.

Steve channels Feynman

In honor of Dick Feynman, I have numerically modified one of his poems.

I 1der why. I 1der why.
I 1der why I 1der.
I 1der why I 1der why
I 1der why I 1der.

Carolyn channels Three Dog Night
One is the loneliest number.

Doug channels Dopey
My special number is 0.

I chose this number because this assignment has 0 relationship to mathematics. In addition, this assignment has 0 pedagogical value, was worth precisely 0 time, and will have 0 impact on my grade.

Also, it's all round and stuff.

Ken channels Grumpy
My special number is 6 -- because six is the number of weeks I'm going to lose doing this dopey project instead of being taught real math.

My Special Number page - hand in assignments here
complete list of Connected Math projects
My Special Number, part 2
All Vlorbik All the Time
Brenda's special number

-- CarolynJohnston - 14 Sep 2005

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