Wednesday, June 13, 2012

math lab :: write a googol




Exploring huge numbers is so fun with kids. As soon as they are old enough to understand millions, and billions and trillions, the questions start coming. "What comes next?" "What if there are 10 zeros?" and "what is infinity plus one?"


So, just for fun my son decided to write a huge number - a googol. A googol is a 1 with 100 zeros behind it. 


Tape register tape is excellent for this (as well as all sorts of other projects). 


A good discussion question might be, "who uses these big numbers?" You can brainstorm how helpful they are to certain professions, how they would not be useful at all to others and show how to write numbers in exponential form. 


When math is approached in this exploratory way, it is engaging and exciting. 


What mathematical notions have you explored lately?

2 comments:

  1. We love wringing a googol. There are some great books about the subject. Try making circles with a stick, string and a piece of chalk. Great for pi day.

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    Replies
    1. oh, i like the stick challenge! we will have to try that (i think i have it figured out already). thanks!

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