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Methods of playing games which enhance mathematical understanding

Image Number 17 for United States Patent #5704790.

A game for enhancing mathematical skills is played in the a classroom with teams of players or individual players. In accordance with one embodiment, the game utilizes a branched lattice having a central starting point and a plurality of terminal points. The lattice is placed on the floor of a classroom. In playing the game, students select three numbers from a location on the classroom wall and factor those three numbers to find the prime factors of the numbers, which prime factors are then recorded in input/output tables. The tables have an output line or column in which the output value "-1" is written if the number of factors is odd; the output value "0" is written if the output value includes repeated primes, indicating raising a prime to a power; and the output value "+1" is written if the number of prime factors is even. The output values are used to locate the input/output tables, which are on slips of paper, at correct terminal points of the lattice. The path to each of the terminal points comprises three legs of the lattice, with each of the legs being defined by one of the output values "-1," "0" and "+1." A frequency table is provided to retire the number chips in columns in accordance with their output values. In accordance with additional embodiments of the invention, the game is played in combination with a Venn diagram puzzle having color chips which are assembled in accordance with the results of casting color-coded dice. In accordance with still further embodiments of the invention, the lattice is configured as a three-dimensional, color-coded array, with legs extending parallel to one another being of the same color. In accordance with still a further embodiment of the invention, a lattice with there branches has "bumping locations" at the termini of the branches which are used in scoring teams playing the game. The methods of playing the various embodiments of the games preferably employ computer generated graphics and computer programs.

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