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Homework: Why do humans need numbers?

We had some very interesting conversations about what numbers are used for and why humans need numbers. First, we talked about the things that humans do with numbers:

Then, we talked about why humans need to do any of these things, and why humans need numbers at all:

Your homework is:

Make a comment to explain your group’s answer. You can discuss it with your parents, older brothers and sisters or anyone else in your house. If you don’t agree with your group’s answer anymore that is OK, explain why and what has changed your thinking.

A good comment will have:

  • An explanation of why your group decided to write what you wrote
  • Some examples from real life
  • An explanation of your own thoughts, even if they are different now.
  • Some information about what other people in your house think.
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  1. 18samantha
    August 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    My group (Paul, Paula, Sam) decided on the statement ‘Humans use numbers because we are curious.’ The reason we chose this statement is because we think that we (humans) are curious and we want to try things out and see what would happen. I don’t think the people who invented plastic and Soda knew exaclty how it would turn out. They had an idea and were curious and they wanted to see if it would be sucessful.
    I strongly agree with the statement my group made. I think we (humans) need numbers so we can be more organized as well. Without numbers buildings would collapse, Airplanes wouldn’t work and we wouldn’t have the lottery. Numbers are used for phone numbers and labeling, like Rock 00012569843672.

    • 18aayushk
      August 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      I agree with you Samantha.
      I like how you put some interesting facts like the one about Airplanes.

  2. Mr. Sam
    August 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Nice detailed answer, Samantha, I can see you have thought about what you want to write and taken the time to write with details.

    Do you think that our lives are easier because of numbers, or more complicated and difficult? Compare us with animals, for example.

    • 18samantha
      August 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      I don’t have an animal example…
      I think it is both more easier and more complicated.
      It is easier because we have Transportation, Computers, Television and Coffee makers. It is harder for the people who make the Planes we fly on, Coffee machines we use and the television we watch. It is not that easy to make those kinds of things.
      So I think numbers have made our lives easier and harder.

  3. 18rairatc
    August 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I also agree with Samantha. I also think that buildings would collapse etc. I strongly agree on being curious just like the Plastic thing.
    For my group our statement was ‘we need numbers to afford things we need in life’ I agree with it because if there were no numbers, how are we going to buy food/water? Then how will we survive without food/water?? Still if you didnt use money and you traded things, how are you supposed to know how much to need to trade for to be fair? So we need numbers to calculate the things we use in out daily lives. Like Samantha said we need phone numbers-we also need adresses: if you were going to send a really important letter to someone, how are you supposed to know where the house is? and what road? Well I mean if houses were labelled by words, it would be difficult like my house name is HORSE and my friend’s house is called COMPUTER and my grandma’s is called DICTIONARY, its going to be hard to remember so I think thats the main reason why we need numbers; but the statement ‘numbers make life easier’ is true if you think about what I said…

    • 18samantha
      August 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      I strongly agree with you Am. It would be hard to find other people’s houses If it was all Words. But they could also use letters to find peoples houses, their adress could be: Bangkok, Thailand, Sukhumvit Rd., Soi RH, House YRKGR.
      So I agree with all that you (Am) said but I think that maybe their adresses could be all letters like my example.

      • 18rairatc
        August 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

        Yeap Sam, that was what i was trying to say. I also agree with the comment you said it will be easier and harder-i didnt even think to the bad side! I STRONGLY AGREE because it not that easy to harvest coffee beans etc.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      You’ve really explained your thinking clearly, Am. Humans definitely need numbers so that our complicated lives can be more simple, but do our lives really need to be so complicated?

  4. Odette
    August 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    The question was “Why do humans need to this?”. So we discuss the question then we came out an idea and then they vote for my answer which is “To make life easier.”

    • 18samantha
      August 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      Did your group discuss and talk about your sentnce, or did you just say a sentence and they liked it?

    • 18pint
      August 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      But why did you guys pick this statement? How does number make life easier??

      • 18samantha
        August 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

        I agree with Pin.
        How, Odette, do numbers make life easier?
        I know It does but can you explain more?

  5. August 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I mean to do this.

  6. Jin
    August 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    We need numbers because if we dont’ have numbers, we can’t tell how many do you want, we don’t know the precise time. I say that numbers are too essiential to disappear. So I agree with Samantha

    • 18samantha
      August 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      I agree with you as well Jin.
      It would be hard to tell the precise time.
      But what do you mean you cant tell how many do we want?

    • 19michaelt
      August 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      I agree with you jin because if you want to buy a newspaper you dont know how many coins you need so instead there might be a picture saying
      you need this many coins
      OOOOOOOOOOOO
      it will be hard and take longer

      • 18rairatc
        August 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        Yeah Michael–it would take a longer time to figure something out–and that’s one of the reasons of how numbers make life easier

        • 18rairatc
          August 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm

          I agree with michael, Jin and Sam. But sam i think jin means like if u needs that much of plates and this much of forks u won’t know.

      • 18samantha
        August 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm

        Actually if you say this many coins:
        OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
        It would still be using numbers

        • 18rairatc
          August 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm

          Yeah but you know you would have to count to know the amount so if we had numbers=its easier.

    • Jin
      September 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      how many things like food or things like pencils and other essientials things that are durable and stagnant.

  7. 18pint
    August 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I also agree with Am and Samantha. My group did the statement ‘We need numbers to afford things we need in life’ I agree with my group. I agree with my group because we need food and water. Because if you don’t have numbers then you can’t buy stuff you need for your life. Just like what Am said if you wanted to trade then you wouldn’t know exactly if it was a fair trade. Well my twin in 6GD told me that we need numbers to use money wisely, if we don’t have number’s we won’t use our money with responsibility if we don’t have responsibility in number’s then we won’t get our need’s and maybe we will be poor. I agree with Am about the statement ‘number’s make life easier. Like if in a classroom there were 26 kids in a classroom you didn’t have number and you had to give each student a word or a alphabet it would be harder to remember.

    • 18samantha
      August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      You are right, It would be hard to remember a letter for each person but it’s the same with numbers, so it’s possible.
      Numbers would help to use money wisely, but without numbers there wouldn’t be any money!

      • 18rairatc
        August 16, 2010 at 5:15 pm

        I rotally agree Sam. we will be poor! I also strongly agree with you Pin. If like we were going on a field trip the people who set it up wont know how many snacks we need etc

    • 18mayw
      August 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      I agree with your group statement because if we don’t have any numbers we cannot buy things because we don’t have money. We need money to buy things.

    • MsCassie
      August 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

      If numbers were letters,like in Pin’s response, do you think we would be just fine memorizing people in the class like we do with numbers?

  8. sebastian
    August 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    i still agree with my group but not 100./. because it says to help us in life and make it easier but it is almost the same thing because helps us in life in like maker life easier. we decided to right this because we thought it was the biggest idea we could come up with. like when u go to the atm machine you need number to pay your bill or to pay a bill and u need to call people and a lot more. and my thought have changed a lot because if we didn’t have number all of are lives will be lost no commutation you would not know how old u are we will be lost. my family mebers think if there are no numbers we wouldnt have a life

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      But, was there life before numbers?

  9. 18rairatc
    August 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Yes Sebi i agree with your family members. But i dont get the party when you said:
    because it says to help us in life and make it easier but it is almost the same thing because helps us in life in like maker life easier.(spelling correction: not right–it’s write) Like Samantha said Numbers make life easier and harder: easier because we have coffee machines etc but its not that easy to plant and harvest coffee beans.

  10. 18rairatc
    August 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    part not party sorry

  11. 18paulah
    August 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    My group has written “humans use numbers because we are more curios” because we thought that this was a very general reason which covered a lot of the answer to the question why humans need numbers at all.
    We use numbers in our every day life and numbers have become a need for almost every person on earth for example us people who live in bangkok use numbers when paying the food at the supermarket, riding a school bus home because numbers were used to build cars, buses, trains, computers and much more of this kind of stuff another example of when we use numbers is playing Nintendo DS or looking at the clock.
    My thoughts about numbers is that we always use them even if we don’t know it.
    My mom says we we use numbers to interact with other humans, where as animals use different means of communication that suit their needs. Humans use numbers to suit they’re needs and wants while animals only communicate about they’re needs since they don’t have a will.

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      I agree with your mum Paula. We need to use numbers to communicate stuff.
      Yes we use numbers everyday all over the world. If there were no numbers..think. how would the world be like..??

  12. sebastian
    August 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    sebastian :
    I still agree with my group but not 100%. because it says to help us in life and make it easier but it is almost the same thing because helps us in life in like making life easier. we decided to write this because we thought it was the biggest idea we could come up with. like when u go to the ATM machine you need number to pay your bill or to get some money out and u need to call people a lot . and my thought have changed a lot because if we didn’t have number all of are lives will be lost no communication you would not know how old u are we will be lost. my family mebers think if there are no numbers we wouldnt have a life.

  13. 18pimboonw
    August 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    \My group chose our sentence is because if we dont have numbers life will be very hard because we dont know anything amount of anything and almost everything we do has to include numbers so.. yeah, and we also need numbers to do everything else in our lives, no matter what. I think that if we dont have numbers life will be very hard, just like what I thought with the group, because we need numbers to make or estimations precise, and we also need them to tell the time or making anything else.
    My family says that we need numbers to remember what ID number you own or how much money we have and if we were given a number or somnthing it would be way more easier to remember than not having numbers.
    I also agree with Pin and Am, because we need numbers for even little things and things will be less complicated…

  14. 18manisha
    August 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I agree with my group’s statement because if i went to the market and said that i want to buy some fruits then the shopkeeper would get confused and it would be lot more harder to figure it out. So thats why numbers are easier for life.

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      but what was your sentence, what do you think about it etc etc.?

  15. ken
    August 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    i think numbers are for money because if you dont have numbers on the money it will be difficult how much is 10Baht or 5Baht

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      Yes Ken so you are telling us (6ss) that you need numbers for your needs right? and numbers sometimes make life A LOT easier.

  16. 18mayw
    August 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I agree with my group’s statement because if we know about numbers we can buy things and sell things. My mom said that if we know about numbers it will help us with organization so life would be easier if we know about numbers.

  17. August 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    It will make life easier because you can illustrate details faster and easier such as lengths, volumes, areas, heights, time, price and etc.

  18. 18mayw
    August 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    If we have numbers we can remember people easily by giving them number and we only have to remember the number.

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      I agree May-another reason why numbers make life easier.

  19. 18manisha
    August 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I agree with pin because if there was about 28 students in class if we gave every child a alphabet to make it easier then there wouldnt be enough alphabets because there are only 26 alphabets and if you repeat the alphabets again then it would be confusing.

  20. 18aayushk
    August 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    My group decided that our statment would be “to count and to make life easier”. I will give an example to explain. If I want to celebrate my birthday, I need to count the number of friends I have, make sure I buy the right amount of return gifts and the right number of invitation cards. Also I need to write the time to make sure my friends come at the right time. We need numbers to do this and without them our life would get harder.

    Humans need numbers for many different reasons. They use numbers in their daily lives. For example looking at the clock, looking at the calender and to dial phone numbers etc. Without numbers we won’t be able to use money.

    My mom says we need numbers to be precise(exact). Without numbers we would be talking in relative terms and it would be hard to communicate. For example, we can say it’s a hot day but only when we use numbers do we know exactly how hot it is. We can say it’s a big building, but only if we use numbers can we know how big exactly.

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Yes i agree aayush-for just 1 birthday party you need to use a lot of numbers already-it just makes life easier. We all look at the clock and stuff so if there were no numbers we wont know the exact amount/height/lenght/width/etc. I agree with you. And we wont be able to use money at all-also we cant even trade if we dont know the “FAIR” amount…

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      These are all excellent points, Aayush. However, do we really need to know how hot the day is, or how big the building is?

  21. Julien
    August 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    My group decided on the topic ” To help in life and make it easier.” and I still agree because I couldn’t come up with any ways we can use numbers that wouldn’t that wouldn’t make our life easier, so then that was why I thought the topic was a good one.
    But then Mr. Sam said, then why don’t we see animals counting or lions reading the book of roaring records (Paul’s idea). Then I thought that animals have different needs in their life then we do (for example) they don’t do the same things than us. My mom thinks that numbers help because it helps us go into more complex thought and clearer ideas. In the prehistoric times humans would have to guess.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      Do animals really have different needs in their lives?

  22. shikhar
    August 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    ‘To Count And To Make Life Easier’ this was are groups idea
    (Me,Jin, Aayush,and Yaechan)thoght we need to count because we need to count things like money you can hardly live without money like for food.

    • 18rairatc
      August 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      I agree-we need to buy food/water-which means that we need to use money (which are numbers). But numbers dont ALWAYS make life easier-like what i said to julien:say i order 1769 packs of sugar for my factory. Thats easy for me because i will get it in a day/week/month (depending on where you are). But, its not that easy for the people who make sugar. It might not be that easy to send/import the sugar.

    • shikhar
      August 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm

      Money is also a system to make life fair for everyone. Everyone gets what they deserve, usually. Although, this doesn’t always work. I see this use of money in daily life.

      My sister agrees with me.
      My mom thinks numbers solve crimes and save lives too. They are a part of science too. For example, in the series ‘Numbers,’ one of the detectives uses numbers to solve many crimes.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      But, do we have to count food in order to eat it?

  23. 18rairatc
    August 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Yes i agree Julien but i kind of disagree when you said that you couldnt think of a way that numbers wouldnt make life easier–numbers can make life a bit hard:say i order 1769 packs of sugar for my factory. Thats easy for me because i will get it in a day/week/month (depending on where you are). But, its not that easy for the people who make sugar. It might not be that easy to send/import the sugar-so numbers can make life harder but i suppose you are correct in ways. However i agree with your mum so we can have more exact thoughts and we can stop being wrong and guessing. Also numbers help us though our needs-we need to buy food/water and know how much food/water we need. Animals also need to know the a ount of food/water they need but they have a different way of communicating.

  24. sebastian
    August 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    sebastian :

    sebastian :

    sebastian :
    I still agree with my group, but not 100%. because it says to help us in life and make it easier but it is almost the same thing. We decided to write this because we thought it was the biggest idea we could come up with. When you go to the ATM machine you need number to pay your bill or to get some money out and you need to call people a lot. My thoughts have changed a lot because if we didn’t have numbers all of our lives will be lost no communication you would not know how old you are. My family members think if there are no numbers it would be impossible to live the live we have now.

  25. 18gabis
    August 16, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    i think that it would make things easier because when we do shopping there would need to be a price if there wasant a price then it would be free and then people start to fight.
    you can also have some fun when your doing maths and for education and mostly on the road and work
    we use maths for trading, measuring,living so you now how much you eat drink and sizes of things. gabi

  26. August 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Mr. Sam The blog is going a long smoothly 🙂

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      I know, they’re off to a flying start aren’t they? Very impressive.

      • MsCassie
        August 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

        Ditto!

      • Rimjhim
        August 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        Your class already attracted a person from 6 ms! We had to wait a couple of months before we had other people visiting our blog.

      • August 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        Yea your class is caring on the tradition 🙂

  27. 18terried
    August 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I think if we haven’t numeral we didn’t what clock now.
    we didn’t how old are you,what day is today.
    If I want to buy something we didn’t price.
    So we life can not get away to numeral.

  28. 18paulk
    August 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Sams’ was that no one really new what they where doing Intel it happened and probably numbers helped them to do so much of that. Paulas idea was that humans are interested in everything and when the get interested they must do it and find out about it and with numbers people where interested.
    almost everything in real life was created through curiosity.
    mine was because people all wanted to know stuff and it would be so much easier researching with the help of numbers
    my mom said that we need numbers to organize our self and to make life much easier
    to help people in there every day life

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      I find Paula’s thinking very interesting. She’s right, everything was created through curiosity, and because of that our lives are so full of technology, systems and other things that depend on numbers. Really impressive conversations you guys were having eh?

  29. 18johanl
    August 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    My group´s sentence was “We need numbers to afford things we need in life” I still agree with this statement because if we wouldnt have numbers we wouldnt have money because there are numbers on the money. Without that we wouldn´t have any food or water. Our group wrote this because everyone thought it was a good idea and we all had almost the same idea. That was without money we wouldnt have any food or other stuff because we couldn’t afford it. Like in real life in the old days they used to trade and if they didn’t have numbers then they wouldn’t know how much to trade so that is another reason that we need numbers. My mom thinks that we need numbers because we need to categorize all different things in life to make it easier. Also define different years, phone numbers, streets, housenumbers, etc….. Numbers help humans to interact with each other.

    • Mr. Sam
      August 16, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      Are you sure that we wouldn’t have food if we didn’t have money?

      • 17nikkis
        August 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

        But we can trade things if we didn’t have money.

  30. 18saeyeono
    August 17, 2010 at 7:09 am

    I agree with john because we need money for affort things.

  31. 18ninej
    August 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

    people need number because they need number to count things and money or they can’t survice because they don’t know how to count money and it will make their life more easier to live and we need number to count to play to usee in many diffrent ways.

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