|A Lifetime of Savings|| |
The purpose of this instructional task is to give students an opportunity to construct and find the value of a geometric series (A-SSE.4) in a financial literacy context. The task assumes that students have already developed the formula for a geometric series themselves; having them recognize the need for this formula (and look up if necessary) allows them to engage in MP 5, Use appropriate tools strategically. The task also provides students with an opportunity to look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning (MP 8), as the solution shows. This task also asks students to interpret the variables in the future value formula in the context of the problem (A-SSE.1).
|Triangle Series|| |
Students consider a diagram of five nested equilateral triangles diminishing in size according to a geometric series. The purpose of this task is to emphasize the adjective "geometric" in the "geometric" series, namely, that the algebraic notion of a common ratio between terms corresponds to the geometric notion of a repeated similarity transformation. Specifically, since the black triangles are all similar with the same scale factor, the total area of the black triangles is a geometric series. This task could be used either to introduce the geometric series as a worthy object of study, or as a geometric application of its use.
|Cantor Set|| |
This task leads to the generation of finite geometric series with a common ratio less than one as a means to explore properties of the Cantor Set. The Cantor Set is a fascinating set with many intriguing properties. It contains uncountably many points, which means that there are "as many" points in it as on the real line, yet the set contains no intervals of real numbers and it has length zero. All that is necessary to show that it has length zero is to look at what happens to a geometric series as we add more and more terms.