Activity:

SAT Math: Strange Symbols

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What You Need:

  • A pencil
  • A piece of paper
  • A copy of the phrase to be decoded.
  • 2 or more players
  • Candy or another small prize

What You Do:

1. Give your teen this code key:

a

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1

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13

 
 

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14

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26

 
 

2)      Have her use the Code Key to decipher this phrase:

10.21.12.9.21.19       3.1.5.19.1.18    12.9.11.5.4      20.8.9.19      3.15.4.5

3)      Give your student the next code key:

a

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a

!

#

@

$

%

&

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(

+

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=

 
 

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~

/

<

?

>

`

"

;

\

:

--

,

.

 

4)      Have her decipher this phrase:                                            , / ;    a > $    & / / @    a "   " ^ * '

5)      Read the answers, and offer a prize to the winner, or to everyone who broke both codes.

“Julius Caesar liked this code.”

“You are good at this.”

6)      Extend the lesson to math.  Show your teen this problem:

Let @x represent the number of different pairs of positive integers whose product is x.  For example,  @16 = 3, since 16 can be written as 1*16, 2*8, or 1*16.

Problem:  What is the value of @36?

Solution:  The Code Key told us the meaning of the box is to find the factors of 36:  1*36, 2*18, 3*12, 4*9, 6*6

There are 5 pairs of factors, so the answer is 5.

7)      One more problem:

Let  “&x “ mean “13 – x”

Problem:  Which is bigger, “&5”  or “ &4” ?

Solution: The Code Key told us that “&” means to subtract the number from 13.  So…

“&5”  = 13 – 5 = 8   WHILE   “&4”  = 13 – 4 = 9

Therefore, 4 is bigger.

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