WEEKS 9 – 10

Seeing Patterns

Patterns are intrinsically visual, intrinsically accessible to anyone willing to look. The first time a class sees (because they built it) that every square number is the sum of that many consecutive odd numbers, we ask for silence and whisper conspiratorially, “Did you feel it? … That was a goosebumps moment!”, and rub our forearms in pleasure. Because such patterns truly are amazing, artistic and just so universally true.


Squares, Triangles and Primes

3. Triangular Numbers

A study of the patterns in triangular numbers.

This investigation is adapted to grade level from Jo Boaler’s “Squares to Stairs” activity on YouCubed.

Follow up discussionUse this animated video, and ask students to put it into words.

4. Primes and Squares

If students have not been exposed to prime numbers, this video does a good job of helping you introduce the concept.

5. Squares in a Chessboard

Teacher’s Notes

6. Word Problems with Sharkey

Another entertaining question involving the adventures of Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Sharky. Good as a warm up.

7. Games We Like

Here is a link to our favorite game sources.

Games are proven to increase student engagement and learning. The most important requirements for a good math game are:

  1. Games should NOT be speed-based. Rather, look for games with one element of luck, and one element of strategy. Lopsided games (ones based on speed) are not fun for at least half of the players!
  2. Games should have at least some concrete/visual component. Instead of fraction cards with symbols (1/2) , make fraction cards with pictures, bars, pizzas. Play strategy games with blocks, strips, dice, pattern blocks. Instead of decimal numbers, use visual decimal squares. Use the classroom floor as a game board, or hide cards for a treasure hunt.
  3. Strategy is integral. Developing strategic thinking is a life skill!

Quiz #4 – What about Assessment?

Link to blog about the philosophy behind our assessments.

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