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Joan Reinthaler

Posts: 110
Registered: 12/6/04
Posted: Apr 18, 1995 7:02 AM
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Maxine Bridger suggested the excellent activity of having kids figure out
how high a stack of paper would reach if you started with one sheet and
doubled the number of sheets 50 times. She suggested that you start by
telling the kids that one sheet was 1024ths of a foot(I think that
was what she said) thick. I have done this activity and the kids love it -
but I start by asking them how they could measure the thickness of one
sheet using just a ruler. Usually they figure out that they can measure
the thickness of their math book and divide by the number of pages
(usually forgetting, initially, that the number of pages in the book is
twice the number of sheets of paper). Then the process of getting the
eventual distance into miles, looking up the distance to the moon or to
the sun and so forth is great practice for figuring out what the
appropriate operations are.

Joan Reinthaler
Sidwell Friends School

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