Algebra Class Openers

Class Opener – Day 20 – Infinite Chocolate

How is that possible? Tell me the answer?

Some of my students haven’t picked up on my sneaky side yet. There are no free answers in my class, including this visual which greeted them today:


Some students had seen this before, but few could figure out the mystery of the infinite chocolate. In my afternoon class, one student took charge, showing the subtle differences in the sizes of the pieces as they are reconnect…a future math teacher in the making. Today’s opener wasn’t intended to connect to anything course-related; it’s just a fascinating geometric mind trick, and great for generating math conversation right away. You can Google this problem and find a number of versions, many which explain the illusion, but we ended this opener with a video which shows some potential geometric shenannigans.

Today I desired a short and snappy opening hook, as my goal was to get students to the boards right away to work on binomial theorem problems. This was the second day students viewed videos and took notes for homework, and the response has been outstanding. Classes the last two days have been energetic, as the group doesn’t need to hear me drone on….they heard that at home. The focus today was terms in a binomial sequence – enjoy the video notes here.  Also, pay attention for the rough edit at the end due to my mistake….was more fun to leave that in than to edit it out.


By Bob Lochel

HS Math Teacher. Hatboro-Horsham School District, Horsham, PA.

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