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.
Patterns are a way for students to recognize order and are
important in all aspects of mathematics. Creating pattern units with
the interactive applet can be beneficial for students who are not yet
successful in creating their own patterns with physical manipulatives.
These students simply make strings of objects, without order or
repetition, rather than creating units that are repeated. Using the
interactive math applet, students will create and study pattern units
of three, four and five squares. The interactive applet is designed so
students may place entire units on the grid one at a time, or have the
computer fill the entire grid. The Making Patterns 2
activity sheet encourages students to investigate row, column and
diagonal patterns generated when units of three, four, and five squares
are repeated. Throughout the activity, students predict, explore, and
analyze similarities and differences between the repeating pattern
units. Students also explore factors of ten.
Before students visit the Web site, introduce the excursion by drawing a 10 × 2 grid onto the board.
Inform the students that you are going to color in a 5-unit
pattern in this grid. Fill in the pattern using 5 different colors.
Define these colored squares as a "unit."
Ask the students to think about how many times this unit pattern
could be repeated in the 10 × 2 grid? Will it fit exactly? How do they
Inform students that they will be using the computer to investigate
patterns created when three, four, and five-unit patterns are repeated
again and again to fill up 100 squares in a 10 × 10 grid. They will
discover similarities and differences in the row, column and diagonal
patterns created by the repeating unit. They will investigate which
units fit exactly in one row of the grid.
Place students into teams of two and distribute a Making Patterns 2 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 students 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.
Encourage students to analyze and compare row, column, and diagonal
patterns created by the various units. As they work through the
activity sheet encourage students to think about factors of ten. Once
students have completed exploring the applet, lead a class discussion
using the following questions.
When students have finished the Making Patterns 2
activity sheet, the class should meet and discuss the learning process.
Write "Pattern Discoveries" on a piece of butcher paper. Guide students
to summarize the lesson by answering the Questions for Students as you record their responses.