I’m not sure where I was going with this post. I had an idea at school, and I wrote “blog about infinite sums and lists” on a post-it, and stuck it to my laptop. So here I am, not really sure where to go with it.
Oh! The same kid who is reading Uncle Petros figured out infinite sums today, sort of. I asked a question in the academic prep class. On a side note, I find they are a very captive audience. Doing my little problems gets them out of doing “formal” work, but they are still learning…teacher: 1, students: 0. Anyway, I said “What’s 1/2 plus 1/4 plus 1/8…and keep multiplying the bottom by 2 and go on forever.” Someone said “a whole.” I said yep. They laughed because it was a complete guess, but I saw people write it down. I asked “What’s 1/3 + 1/9 + 1/27…and keep multiplying the bottom by 3, and go on forever.” 1/2. I figured this wasn’t a complete guess. I went on with 1/4, 1/5…same kid kept answering. I asked him if he knew. He said, and I am thrilled with this quote…”no, but there are a lot of patterns in math. I figured this was one of them, too.”
So I sort of lied, he didn’t really “figure out” the sum per se, but he did see the pattern. And that’s half the battle. Heck, this was a 9th grader in algebra 1. Seeing that pattern should be a whole battle. Kudos, Matt.
That takes care of the “infinite sums” part of my post-it. As for the “lists,” I’m not really sure. I’ll get back to you. Have a super evening.