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Creates multi-variable patterns

Featured Math Vitamins:

Multi-variable Patterns
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Story: In this Math Vitamin, students are working with teachers to extend their knowledge of patterns. Familiar with creating basic repeating patterns (blue red, blue red), the students are now challenged to create a variable number pattern; for example pick a number, add two, then add three and then repeat. Inspired by a read aloud character named Daniel from the book Powerless, the students are asked to hone their detective skills to decode and create these complex number patterns. Each UCDS math vitamin requires students to build, draw and record their thinking as well as discuss their process with peers and teachers. The strong UCDS math community within each classroom is developed through the process of peer and teacher conversations that focus on exciting mathematical tasks and engaging ideas about the various approaches to solve them.

Suggested manipulatives: For this activity, use any type of counting items (cubes, tiles, beans etc.) as well as graphing charts for creating a visual grid/graph of what the pattern looks like on paper. Adding colored pencils bring another level of visual complexity to this aspect of “seeing” your patterns on paper.

Prep time: Adapting the vitamin wording to fit your specific story, putting manipulatives out in the room and copying the vitamin documentation forms will take about 15-20 minutes. Set up is always more fun and shorter on time if you do this activity with a colleague.

Classroom time: Asking children to “do their best work” for each Math Vitamin assumes that some children will need a longer time than others. Ideally you want to offer a block of time for Math Vitamin projects and have another task available (writing, spelling, activity centers etc.) for those students who finish work prior to their peers. For this project allow 45-60 minutes for students to work through all the steps.

How to individualize/stretch: Beginning patterns are short and repeat in color. Building onto that, use three variables. As soon as you can begin asking students to decode more complex patterns that you have created (1,3,6,8,11 for a starting example); this is a wonderful way to start developing mathematical thinking skills. After they get more comfortable decoding your complex patterns, have them generate their own and document them on grid paper or a 100 chart. Move onto “growing patterns”

Math Continuum > Beginning > Creates multi-variable patterns