Day 5 – Gauss 1 to 100

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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.

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