Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Number Quilt: Reference Board

Starting the school year with lots of number warm-ups, review, and study creates a sense of enthusiasm and comfort with math study.  

One way to foster this work is to make a number quilt. Originally I had planned to use the number card project to create a reference board for numbers 1-100, but while the cards were a terrific first step, the size and complexity didn't provide the "sight-bite" reference board effect I wanted.  I wanted the students to create a 100-card exhibit that they could refer to throughout the year as well as a colorful board that would spark regular number talk. Therefore, I created cards like the one at the bottom of the page. Students will complete the cards in the following ways:
Number cards we started the year with. 
  • Color even numbers in yellow.
  • Color odd numbers in red.
  • If the number is a prime, color the background blue.
  • If the number is composite, color the background green.
  • If the multiples are even, color yellow.
  • If the multiples are odd, color red.
  • Make the arrays relative to one another (proportional reasoning)
  • Use a calculator to get the multiples. Check it over twice. Write with pencil first, then copy over with a thin line black marker. 
  • If desired, students could copy, create and/or color these cards using Google Draw. 
We will divvy up the numbers so that each child will only make a few cards. I'm looking forward to the colorful study and lots of number talk as we complete the project. The repetition involved in projects like this and the group share lead to deep learning and a sense of comfort and confidence with the concepts included.

If you're interested in creating a number quilt with these cards, copies of the cards are listed below. You may want to enlarge the cards a bit, copy on card stock, and laminate for a great exhibit that will serve as a terrific number reference point and a math-art piece all year long. 

Number Card Documents
Student Online Copy: Sign into Google, click this link, click file and make a copy, name card with your number and first name, then double click on card to make a new card.

Example of a Completed Card

The project took 44 students about 10 hours to complete.

These are the questions that will lead our discussion:

  • What patterns do you notice when you study the number quilt?
  • How many even numbers do you see?
  • How many odd numbers do you see?
  • How many numbers from 1-100 have all even multiples?
  • How many numbers from 1-100 have an even/odd pattern of multiples?
  • Why doesn’t any number have all odd multiples?
  • What number from 1-100 has the most factor pairs?
  • What numbers from 1-100 have the least factor pairs?
  • What is a prime number? How many prime numbers are there from 1-100?
  • What is a composite number? How many composite numbers are there from 1-100?
  • Does 0 have any factor pairs? If so, how many?
  • Which number has the most multiples? How did you figure the answer to this problem out?
  • What is a square number? How many square numbers are there from 1-100?
  • How many numbers from 1-100 are perfect numbers? How did you figure out this answer?
  • Did you know that all the numbers to “infinity and beyond” in the base ten system are made with only ten digits: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Students presented the completed project to the whole school at school assembly: