Math 8 – Today the kids tackled Gauss’ 1 to 100 problem. How can a person add up the numbers from 1 to 100 in seconds? What is the strategy?
This was a tough problem. Two “hints” help the process along. If kids write down all the numbers from 1 to 100, they can piece together the strategy easier. One thing I did was wait for kids to start grouping numbers, and then point out how grouping seems to help.
One interesting brain thing is that no one thought to add 1 + 100, 2 + 99, 3 + 98, for sums to 101. This includes myself. I think people are much more tuned and comfortable with 100, it’s less “outside the box.”
Next day we will do some formal work on integers and I will bring in the associative property of addition, using this problem as an example.