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Exploring and Analyzing Sequences

 Activity Description Activity Guide

In this activity, students generate sequences and cumulative sequences, and analyze each numerically and graphically.  This activity is based on the following article:

Dugdale, S. (1998).  A spreadsheet investigation of sequences and series for middle grades through precalculus. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching 17 (2/3) , p.203-222.

Mathematical Topics: In this activity, students explore sequences, cumulative sequences, convergence, divergence, functional relationships, and conditions under which a relationship exists.

Mathematical Thinking: Students will use algebraic thinking to determine a rule for generating a pattern, conjecture relationships, and use critical thinking to analyze the sequences.

Technology: Students will create a template that contains 3 interactive cells for inputting replacement values for 3 variables used in formulas. They will also create a line graph, change the numerical format of a value in a cell, and use the goal seek to search for a replacement value that gives a desired solution to a formula.

The following screenshot displays a sequence and its cumulative sequence in numerical and graphical form.

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