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All about the those palindomes

When I am writing this blog post, it is the 2nd February 2020. If you write this in the digital form it is a palindrome!

And if you are interested how these can be used within the classroom, then read on!

What is a palindrome? "... a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards, e.g.madam or nurses run".

So a palindrome is a word or number which is the same both forwards and backwards.

Examples are like madam, Hannah, 121, 123321 or phrases like nurses run.

The digital form of today’s day is actually a palindrome : 02/02/2020

Once the children have noticed this and understand what a palindrome is then there is a range of other activities or tasks that you can introduce and let them explore. Since I am more focused on mathematics rather than literacy, then I’m going to focus on number activities, but there are plenty of activities for your word lovers as well.

What are the chances?

A good starting activity is to ask the children if there are any other dates which are actually palindromes.

This could be from the start of the zero A.D. and into the future.

As they start to explore this they should be able to start to decide on the rules. For example the last two digits of the year can’t be higher than 13 since when it is reversed, you will get a number greater than 31 which is higher than the number of days in months.

It's about time!

I actually enjoy doing this all the time! (yes I’m one of those strange number freaks!).

Which digital times are actually palindromes? Using the 24 hour clock is easier here. I often look at my digital clock and see 12:21 and think – oooo palindrone!

How many are there and what are the rules? Remember these will change if you are using the 24 hour clock

When will it happen again?

Once these have been explored then a bit of predicting is good to finish off the activity.

This can be done with either times of years. 

When will the next palindrome appear? and, in the case of years, How old will the children be?



I hope this gives you some ideas to enjoy your palindromes in the classroom.

If you have any other activities, then do share them in the comments below!

Enjoy your palindromes!!

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Categories: Teaching


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