Reflection: Student Led Inquiry Binomial Expansion - Section 1: Launch and Explore


For one of the problems on the task worksheet, I asked students to use summation notation to express the expansion of (a + b)^4. As I suspected, students had a difficult time finding an explicit formula for the coefficient for each term.

Something else that I noticed was that almost every student started their sigma notation with n = 1 (as shown here). The formula can be simplified immensely if n = 0 is the starting value. We talked about this in the whole class discussion and it seemed to make sense to students.

  Student Led Inquiry: Setting Up Sigma
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Binomial Expansion

Unit 9: Sequences and Series
Lesson 15 of 18

Objective: SWBAT expand a binomial that is raised to an integer power.

Big Idea: Expanding a binomial raised to a power is a different type of series with a definite pattern.

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Math, PreCalculus, Algebra 2, binomial expansion, Binomial Theorem, Pascal's Triangle, combinations
  45 minutes
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