Internet Mathematics Excursion is a brief mathematics activity. To
maximize student learning, certain prerequisites are necessary to use
this activity. Therefore, it would be appropriate to include this
activity as part of a more fully developed Standards-based lesson, but
it should not be used as a complete stand-alone lesson.
Fostering the ability to create and analyze simple patterns and
make predictions about them is a major learning goal in the primary
grades. Using the interactive math applet, students can create and
study different pattern units. The interactive applet is designed so
students will place unit patterns one at a time on the grid as they
extend their patterns, or have the computer fill in the entire grid.
This example encourages students to explore what new designs their
pattern units will generate when repeated on the grid. The Making Patterns 1
activity sheet encourages students to predict, explore, and analyze
repeating patterns. Throughout the activity, students also explore the
divisibility of ten by two.
To introduce the excursion, tape one blue square and one red square
onto the board. Define these two colored squares as a "unit pattern"
that can be repeated again and again. Ask a volunteer to tape the
remaining two squares on the board and demonstrate a repeating pattern.
Inform students that they will be using the computer to explore similar
two-unit patterns, which repeat to fill up 100 squares on a grid.
Place students into teams of two and distribute a Making Patterns 1 activity sheet to each group. They should visit the following Web site: Creating, Describing and Analyzing Patterns.
Working together, partners share the responsibility of "Mouse
Driver" and "Reader/Recorder". The "Reader/Recorder" will read the
directions from the activity sheet and record observations while
guiding the activity. The "Mouse Driver" controls the action of the
mouse and movement on the computer screen. Partners should switch roles
until all have moved the mouse.
Students should click on the stand-alone applet to begin. As
students work through the activity, walk from group to group,
encouraging them to focus on the number of squares in their pattern
unit and how this unit will look when repeated in a ten-by-ten grid.
Also, encourage students as they work through the activity sheet to
think about the relationship of dividing 10 by 2. Ask questions like
the following as you monitor and facilitate the group work.
When students have finished the Making Patterns 1
activity sheet, lead a class discussion about what they have learned.
Write "Pattern Discoveries" on a piece of butcher paper and ask
questions like those listed in the "Questions for Students" section.