Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Chain Emails - Practice with a Geometric Sequence - Section 2: Investigation


One group of students had an interesting discussion in class today about Question #3.  They calculated how much money Bill would have to spend if 8,000,000 people received the email coupon for ice cream. Although they forgot to add in the previous days, they had a rich discussion about whether or not this could be the right answer because they amount of money he would spend seemed so large (over 39 million dollars).  I let them talk and discuss for quite a while until they seemed to be at an impasse.  When we did discuss their thoughts, I used their thinking of "too big" to talk about exponential growth.  Often times I find students don't have a conceptual understanding of what it means to continually make a number larger by multiplying it by 10. I think this idea of how much money Bill would have to spend was a good way for them to understand just how big things can get when you repeatedly multiply by 10. We also looked at how much he would spend at earlier days to think about whether our operation (multiplying) made sense. Eventually, these students were able to come to a consensus about how expensive this proposition would be!

  "That answer seems too big" A Discussion about Exponential Growth
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: "That answer seems too big" A Discussion about Exponential Growth
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Chain Emails - Practice with a Geometric Sequence

Unit 6: Arithmetic & Geometric Sequences
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: SWBAT solidify their understanding of geometric sequences. SWBAT generate tables, graphs, recursive equations, and explicit equations to represent a geometric sequence.

Big Idea: How many people can a chain e-mail spread to? Students practice representing a geometric sequence based on the spread of a chain email.

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Math, Algebra, multiple representations, tables and graphs, geometric sequence, constant ratio, function, sequences
  60 minutes
practice geometric
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