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Four 4's Before Today's Date

In my first year of teaching, I posed the four 4's problem to my middle school students. I expect you know it: Can you write an expression using only the four 4's and involving only the four basic operations (+ - x /), so that the results equate to 0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 10?. For example, 4-4+4/4 = 1.

I found that this problem solving experience helped my students recognize the importance of order of operations and use of parentheses. Also, it was interesting to see their frustrated efforts to find an expression for 10, until they used some creativity...do you see why or how?

The Pure Numbers Daily Blog offers an interesting variation of this problem. Students are allowed to use a wider range of math operations and tools (e.g. arithmetic, exponents, geometry, factorials, different number base systems, trigonometry, combinations and permutations) to create an equation using the individual numbers for each day's date. Given this review is appearing on 10/19/14...can you create such an equation...before you peek at the website?

Also, the website's or blog's coordinator offers a "submit" feature, so you or your students or friends can "suggest" an equation for that given day or even a future date. Have some fun...being creative!

And for today, log(1+0)+floor[9/(1+1)] = 4