Wednesday, 11 July, 2007

Story telling


Story telling is a strategy which could help math teachers to bind students close to mathematics.There are various true tales/anecdotes of mathematicians which could add a long lasting impact on students to explore mathematics deeply. In my free periods as well as in class teacher period or in House meetings I am using this strategy of story telling.
Here I am sharing some incidents about a famous Mathematician Gauss.
Gauss was a child prodigy (a teenager who acclaimed success at a young age), of whom there are many anecdotes pertaining to his astounding precocity while a mere toddler, and made his first ground-breaking mathematical discoveries while still a teenager.
At the age of three he corrected, in his head, an error his father had made on paper while calculating finances.
Once in primary school his teacher, J.G. B├╝ttner tried to occupy pupils by making them add up the integers from 1 to 100. The young Gauss produced the correct answer within seconds by a flash of mathematical insight, to the astonishment of his teacher,J.G.Buttner.
He added the integers from 1 to 100 in the following manner
S=1+2+3+4+-------------100
S=100+99+98+------------1

2S = 101+101+101+-------------101 (100 times)
S= 10100/2 = 5050.

Gauss had realized that pairwise addition of terms from opposite ends of the list yielded identical intermediate sums: 1 + 100 = 101, 2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101, and so on.

If you are sharing some real stories of mathematicians in your classrooms ,Please do share.

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