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Twenty Objects Trick

1. Place 20 objects on the overhead.

2. Have a student remove any number of items from 1 to 10.

3. The items that remain will be a two-digit number.

4. Have a student find the sum of these two digits and remove that many more items from the projector.

5. Have a student give you some of the remaining objects.

6. You should subtract that number from 9 and tell her how many objects she has in her hand.

Why does this work?

After removing 1 to 10 items from the 20 objects you started with, you will have a number from 10 to 19.

When you add the 2 digits together and subtract from the number 10 to 19, you will always get 9.

< So, when your student gives you some of the items remaining, you need only to subtract from 9 to find how many items she has.

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