Turning 11 on 11-11-11
Turning 11 on 11-11-11
Posted on 11/16/2011

Johnson Elementary students found a unique way on a unique day to explore math concepts on Friday, November 11 or 11-11-11. Students in Becky Dawson’s class used this unusual day to determine the frequency of students celebrating their birthday and turning 11. The class called the project the “Palindrome Math Problem.” A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or sequence of units that can be read the same in either direction. 

The class had a classmate reaching the age of 11 on 11-11-11 and they wanted to know the rate of frequency that fifth-grade students in Floyd County Schools were experiencing the palindrome this year. The class had classmate Harrison Rowland reaching the milestone of age 11 at 11:48 a.m. on 11-11-11 and the class wanted to know how rare this really was in Floyd County. 

The class collected the data of the number of fifth-grade students in each class in Floyd County Schools and the number of students having a birthday and turning 11 on 11-11-11. The total number of fifth-grade students at Armuchee Elementary, Alto Park Elementary, Cave Spring Elementary, Garden Lakes Elementary, Johnson Elementary, Model Elementary, and Pepperell Elementary became the student’s denominator. The number of students turning 11 on 11-11-11, there was one at Garden Lakes and one at Johnson, became the numerator. They used divisibility rules to reduce the fraction to its lowest term, wrote the fraction as a decimal and then converted the decimal into a percentage.

The Johnson fifth-graders determined that 0.25% of Floyd County fifth-grade students turned 11 on 11-11-11. “The students were shocked that less than 1% of Floyd County students had this special birthday,” Becky Dawson said. The class also speculated, using the random data, that if this held true for each school system in Georgia, then less than 1% of fifth-graders in all of Georgia turned 11 on this special day. Dawson added, “This made Harrison, the student in our class with the special birthday, seem that much more special.”

Photo: Becky Dawson (teacher) and Harrison Roland (student) at Johnson Elementary