# Puzzle: continued root (Part 1)

With Spanish AP taking 20% of each class, and with all the juniors worked up over AP US stress, this was a “diminished” teaching day in the midst of a diminished teaching week. I scheduled today for “practice solving trig equations” – but I had a beautiful challenge problem, and let it and its extensions eat up two-thirds of each period:

Find x:

Divided by missing classmates into clusters, the kids got stuck or made little progress on their own. Five minutes in the buzz changed… I could hear groups considering answers. At least two had decided to evaluate or some similar partial roots, and had decided that either this thing was 2, or it was a little less than two.

They disagreed. Fairly loudly. Was *x* 2, or was it a little less than 2?

I took a risk. “You guys did well. It’s clearly either 2 or a little less than 2. One of them’s got to be the answer, the other’s close. Let’s go on to some trigonometry practice.”

I read them right. Nothing doing. They wanted to know. And I had them hooked for a half hour or so investigation. That’ll be Part 2.

I see “formula does not parse”?

I scrambled the LaTeX, saw your comment, and fixed it. Thanks. Problem: sqr\ renders nothing. Needs to be sqrt\. Let’s see if I remember.

Great problem! And I am always inspired by the ways you inspire/psychologically manipulate your students. =)