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Replies: 15   Last Post: Apr 25, 1995 5:26 PM

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 Hannah Slovin Posts: 2 Registered: 12/6/04
Posted: Apr 17, 1995 10:25 PM

You might want to try something with a decaying activity. Start the kids
working in twos, each twosome with a square piece of paper. Have them fold
it in half, cut along the fold, put one half aside and repeat the process
with the remaining half. Have the students repeat the process (folding,
cutting, laying one-half aside, so that they are creating regions 1/2, 1/4,
1/8, 1/16, etc. the original square) until they cannot handle the piece any
more. You will need paper, scissors and tweezers. You can then have some
discussion about what they think might be theoretically possible as far as
continuing to fold and cut even though they can't actually handle a piece
of paper that small.

Some questions you could ask are:
How long could you continue to do this (fold, cut, etc.)?
What would the last piece look like? What would its area be? What would you
call it?
What would happen if you put all the pieces except for the last one (the
one you could no longer handle) back together,what would its area be?

A big word of caution: while this may be a nice activity for getting the
kids to talk about some things relative to infinity betwee 1 and 0, don't
get hung up on trying to make them "see" anything. Let them talk about
their observations and conjectures in their own way. Use the situation to
allow them to play with the ideas. It will be more fun for them and you'll
learn a lot about their thinking. Enjoy and good luck.

Hannah Slovin

============================================================
Hannah Slovin 1776 University Ave.
University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI 96822
Curriculum R & D Group (808)956-4985; FAX (808)956-4984

Date Subject Author
4/17/95 Jill A. Dumesnil
4/17/95 Ken Blystone
4/17/95 Andre TOOM
4/17/95 David Wang
4/18/95 Lou Talman
4/17/95 Hannah Slovin
4/18/95 Linda Coutts