Permutations and Combinations

Permutations and Combinations Using Magic Card Tricks

Permutations and Combinations are my FAVORITE things in all of math! As we know numbers run the world and Combinatorics (Counting) is at the heart of it all! 
Today we are going to look at an attention getter to get your students wanting to learn more. 
For the Card Trick you will need...
  1. 9 Playing Cards, Uno Cards, or something similar. 
  2. One student volunteer.
  3. A magician (YOU)!
Steps to make the Magic Happen!
  1. Lay out the 9 cards as shown below
  2. Have the student volunteer choose a card tell them to show the class which one they picked. You will have to turn around. Tell them to put the card back.
  3. Ask the student which ROW their card is in.
  4. Pick up the cards as shown in this video. Starting with the ROW that their card is in.
  5. Place the cards back into the three rows just like before.
  6. Ask the student again which row their card is in.
  7. Repeat Step 4
  8. Repeat Step 5
  9. Repeat Step 6
  10. Repeat Step 4
  11. The TOP CARD in the deck will be their card!
and there you have it! You are a magician and you now have your students full attention. Pass out 9 cards to each student and have them try to figure out why this trick works. (Hint: it has to do with Combinatorics.) Welcome to magic and math!
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Now you can lead them into what I feel is one of the most important real world topics in math!
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How to Teach Permutations and Combinations Using Magic Card Tricks

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