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 fully developed Standards-based lesson, but it
should not be used as a complete stand-alone lesson.
Patterns are a way for young students to recognize order and to
organize their world and are important in all aspects of mathematics.
Help students develop the ability to form generalizations by asking
questions such as "How could you describe this pattern?" or "How are
these patterns alike?" The Describing Patterns 2
activity sheet guides students to analyze and describe how growing
patterns are generated, encourages them to explore different ways to
interpret the patterns and translate from one form to another, and
challenges students to compare growing patterns to repeating patterns.
Before students visit the Web site, introduce the excursion by holding up a series of alternating red and blue cubes.
Have students discuss the number of connecting-cubes that would
be generated if this unit of 12 red and blue connecting-cubes "doubled"
Discuss the number of connecting-cubes that would be generated
if this unit not only "doubled" once, but also "doubled" again. Write a
numerical pattern representing the growing pattern, (12 + 24 + 48).
Have students imagine how many connecting-cubes it would take to create this pattern if it kept growing and growing!
Inform students that today they will be working with interactive
figure "2b," using connecting-cubes, to create a growing pattern. Ask
students to predict what growing patterns might be.
Place students into teams of two and distribute a Describing Patterns 2 activity sheet to each group. They should visit the following Web site Creating, Describing, and Analyzing Patterns
and follow the specific directions provided on the activity sheet.
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 manipulated the cubes.
As students work through the activity, walk from group to
group, encouraging them to describe the "growing pattern" using color,
letters, number sentences, and sounds. This recognition lays the
foundation for the idea that two very different situations can have the
same mathematical features and thus, in some important ways are the
same. Challenge students to compare the "growing pattern" in figure 2b,
to the "repeating patterns" in figure 1b, and 1c.
When students have finished the Describing Patterns 2 activity sheet, the class should meet to debrief the lesson and learning objectives.