The importance of guessing

Don saw a videotape of Nobel prize-winning Physicist Richard Feynman's lecture about making up a theory. He said the first thing one needs to do is GUESS what it should be. His students giggled at this, but it was very important he said. Then one had to test the quess, do some experiments, and if it didn't work throw it away! So when Don has his students guessing to solve equations, he feels confident that he is going in the right direction.

Besides Feynman telling us, guessing is very important, for at least 5 reasons:

1) you start off right away.

2) it gets you into the problem, you don't have to have this "I haven't been taught this, so I can't do it " attitude and then feel you have to wait for someone to tell you how to solve it.

3) you can solve many equations this way, not a trivial few, as well as solving other types of problems. Don't be discouraged if you guess wrong the first few times; keep trying, you can do it. Along with guessing goes the question-are you getting closer? Is the guess too big or too small?

4) you'll also get better at guessing. And

5) you might even come up with different ways to solve the same problem, which would be very good. Then you would have a check to tell you if you are right or not, like when taking a test, and without having to rely on someone else to tell you.

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