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Palindromes in Words and Numbers - February 22, 2022 Is a Palindrome!

I was getting ready to pay for my meal at a buffet when I noticed the cashier's name tag.  It read "Anna" to which I replied, "Your name is a palindrome!"  The cashier just stared at me in disbelief.  I explained that a palindrome was letters that read the same backwards as forwards. Because you could read her name forwards and backwards, it qualified as a palindrome. She replied that she remembered a math teacher talking about those because of patterns (I love that math teacher), and she remembered the phrase "race car" was a palindrome.  We then began sharing palindromes that we knew such as radar, level and madam while my family waited impatiently in line. (Sometimes they have little patience with my math conversations.)

The word palindrome is derived from the Greek word pal√≠ndromos, which means "running back again". A palindrome can be a word, phrase or sentence which reads the same in both directions such as: "Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?" or "Was it a car or a cat I saw?" or "Rats live on no evil star."

But did you know there are also palindromic numbers?  A palindromic number is a number whose digits are the same if read in both directions (as seen on your left).   Whereas "1234" is not a palindromic number, because backwards it is "4321" which is not the same. (This year, the date 2-22-22 is a palindrome. Do you see why?)

Suppose a person starts with the number one and lists the palindromic numbers in order: 11, 22, 33, 44, 55...etc.  Can you continue the list? 

Did you notice that palindromic numbers are symmetrical?  Look carefully at the 17371 shown above.  It is symmetrical (when a figure can be folded along a line so the two halves match perfectly)on either side of the three whether read left to right or vice versa.

Palindromic numbers are very simple to generate from other numbers with the help of addition.

Try this:
  1. Write down any number that has more than one digit. I will use 47.
  2. Write down that number in reverse beneath the first number. (See illustration below.)
  3. Add the two numbers together. (121)
  4. 4. The sum of 121 is undeniably a palindrome.
Try an easy number first, such as 18.  At times you will need to use the first addition answer and repeat the process of reversing and adding. You will almost always get a palindrome answer within six steps.  Try one of these numbers 68 or 79.  Be careful because if you pick a number greater than 89, arriving at the palindromic answer will take more steps, but it will still work.  (See the two examples below.)

But don't try 196!  In fact, avoid it like the plague!   A computer has already gone through several thousand stages, and it still hasn't come up with a palindromic answer!

Example #1:
  • Start with 75.
  • Reverse 75 which makes 57.
  • Add 75 and 57 and you get 132.  The answer 132 is not a palindrome.
  • SO reverse 132, and it becomes 231.
  • Add 132 and 231, and the answer is 363
  • Since 363 is a palindrome, we are done!
Example #2:
  • Begin with 255.
  • Reverse 255 to get 552.
  • Add 255 and 552. The answer is 807 which is not a palindrome.
  • SO reverse 807 to get 708.
  • Add 807 and 708. The answer of 5151 is not a palindrome.
  • SO reverse 1515 to get 5151.
  • Add 1515 and 5151 which is 6666.
  • This is a palindrome; so, we are done!

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Heart Rebus Puzzles - Using Logic and Reasoning to Decode Pictures that Represent the Word "Heart"

Hearts and Valentines Rebus Puzzles
 Only $5.25

Do you have any idea what a rebus puzzle is? Essentially they are little pictures, often made with letters and words, which cryptically represent a word, phrase or saying. My college students love to solve rebus puzzles like the one on your right. Can you figure out what the picture represents? The clue I will give you is that it has to do with an expression that contains the word "heart". (See the answer at the end of this post.)

Since it is close to Valentine's Day, and college students don't have Valentine's parties, I decided to create several rebus puzzles that represent familiar expressions that contain the word "heart". (e.g. "From the Bottom of My Heart" or "Cross My Heart") Each illustration uses a picture or symbol to represent a word or phrase. The students must use logic and reasoning skills to solve the 26 rebuses. (Yes, I ended up with 26!)

If you purchase this resource, all you have to do is copy the 13 pages of illustrations (two per page) using a color copier. If you do not have access to a color copier, you can enhance the hearts by hand coloring them or have a student help you color. (My grandkids are great at coloring!)

Each class period during the month of February, I put up two heart illustrations as a focus activity. However, you could place one or more up at one time or all of them up at the same time. As my college students enter the room, they try to figure out what heart expressions the two pictures represent. Sometimes they solve the puzzle immediately; other times it takes them a while.  But no matter how long it takes, my students find that it is fun and engaging, in addition to being a very challenging Valentine's Day activity!

If you aren't sure that you wish to purchase the full resource, download the free one! It contains four rebus puzzles ready for you to copy.

*The answer to the above rebus is "A heart full of love."  Did you get it?

FREE E-Book Full of Ideas and Activities for February


Add some variety to your classroom Valentine’s Day fun with these free lessons by The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative!  Download this FREE 20-page resource that has ideas and activity suggestions for prekindergarten through high school. On each page, you will find links to a free product as well as a priced resource. Just click on the links to download the free products. Here are four freebies to get you started.

  1. Love Bookmarks
  2. Create Your Own Valentine’s Day Cards
  3. Hearts and Valentines – A FREE Rebus Problem Solving Activity
  4. Using Apostrophes Correctly – Valentine’s Day Grammar Worksheets

Simply download the E-book and then just click on the links to the free products and priced products by TBOTEMC (The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative) members.


A little bit of information about TBOTEMC.  It has been in existence since 2014 and is made up of teachers who work together to take their Teachers Pay Teachers stores to the next level. They use the power of cross-promotion to collaborate in their Pinterest, Facebook, and Teacher Talk blog marketing teams. 

Members advertise their TpT stores, personal blogs, social media sites, or grow their email lists in TBOTEMC’s THREE $100 GIVEAWAYS of TpT Gift Certificates and $100 Amazon & $100 PayPal CA$H Giveaways. The 31+ Back to School, Winter Holiday, Valentine’s Day, End of the Year, and Teacher Talk eBooks continue to promote the members’ TpT stores, TpT products, and social media sites for years to come. For more information on how you can join this group, go to: 


Check out these 100+ Free Lessons & Teaching Ideas by the members of TBOTEMC.  Just click on the covers.