CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 18, 2009

How to Count the Gifts Given in the Twelve Days of Christmas

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HOW TO COUNT THE GIFTS GIVEN IN THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

A Simple Question…Right?

      A teacher assigned a project to my Whipple Elementary School class: Who can cut the longest strip of paper from a sheet 8 ½ by 11 inches?

     Simple, I thought, and cut a strip 11 inches long before sitting back smugly.

     When the results were shown, I discovered my naivety. Some students knew to cut around and around the paper, making lengthy strips. It was an eye opener for thinking creatively and out of the box.

     I had the same sensation when I was reviewing information on the Twelve Days of Christmas for this year’s Christmas card/ornament. I came across a simple question: How many gifts would a person have to purchase if they bought every gift in the ditty’s list?

     Simple, I thought. There are two ways of counting. One gift for each  day, twelve total. Or, one gift the first day, two the second, three the third day, and so on.  Just add the total. It’s 364.

     Or, 376, if you count (more…)

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