Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Hero, Zero

On one of our first days with Michael Paul Goldenberg in math, a student casually asserted that 'Zero is not a number'. We wondered about that assumption, and asked students to come in with arguments for and against zero's legitimacy as a number.

Here are a half-dozen of the best metaphors students used in the discussion.

Zero is a border.

Zero is nothing.

Zero is a hole that's been filled.

Zero is the foundation of a house.

Zero is the bottom.

Zero is the middle.

And I can't resist one of my favorite metaphors, courtesy of Saturday morning cartoons in the 1970s.


(There's also a terrific cover of this song by The Lemonheads.)

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