Yesterday was an ambigram! Sometimes..

I've been trying to come up with an activity for my year 10s for their first real math class with me. For the rest of my classes it's been super easy to come up with content, but for some reason I've been struggling with my 10s.


Maybe it's because they're the extension class, a huge difference in ability from my 10s last year!


Maybe it's because three of my students have parents that are teachers here?


Whatever it is, I struggled. And then it hit me - yesterday was a palindrome. I mean, I knew it was but I didn't think I could turn it into a math task!

So here's what I came up with!


This first part comes straight from Martin Shervington.

Start off asking the students to write down yesterday's date (2nd Feb 2020)- in silence.


Now, describe in the simplest manner without words why this is an interesting date. Think about how you will show someone the description.


I'm sure most of the students will pick up that the date is a palindrome, but how would they go about showing that without words? Solution: Spin the page upside down (works better with digital-ish font!). Let's see if any students come up with that on their own!


In digital font, like the image above, not only is the date a palindrome but it's also an ambigram - the same right side up as flipped upside down.

Now it's up to them to do some work!


1. Find as many palindromic dates as possible!


2. Split them between 'NZ' dates and 'US' dates - I know these aren't only countries that use these formats, but I don't know what to call them. This is good enough for their understanding.


3. Why is yesterday's "the most palindromic date ever?"



Hopefully that's enough to fill the hour! We'll find out next period! Wish me luck!

© TheMathLab