Exploring Irrational Numbers with TI-Nspire™

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2011

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Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics

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This article describes some activities for approximating irrational numbers with partial sums of infinite series that have been used with preservice elementary teachers and adapted for the TI-Nspire™. The idea for the article came from an 8th grader's question about how people knew the correct digits of π. Before discussing irrational numbers, some examples of rational numbers approximated by an infinite series are given. Information using the TI-Nspire™ to facilitate student understanding, including keystrokes is presented. This is followed by a discussion of approximating π using one of Euler's well-known series. Finally, there is also a discussion of the limitations of technology in displaying decimal approximations beyond the number of significant digits stored in the Nspire.

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Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, no. 63 (2011), 17-21.