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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pattern Seekers Study Sequences

Pattern Seekers Study Sequences

Say it five times fast.

I challenged students with that tongue twister at the start of math class the other day when we discussed the fact that math is the language of patterns.

Then we started to look carefully at many patterns sequences and corresponding relationships related to the powers of ten.

Students stretched to define those corresponding relationships with algebraic expressions as well.

As the lesson went on, I noted that as their math teacher I was teaching them to "see" and discern patterns, shapes, directions, and more. I mentioned that a lot of learning is about "seeing" and "noticing." I told them a story about a cancer researcher who was using patterns to figure out potential cures for cancer, and how researchers and professionals in almost any field look for patterns.

Today as the students took a short formative assessment on the topic, I noticed that several had really grasped the powers of 10 patterns with regard to zeroes, value, and increasing and decreasing relationships.

This is the kind of teaching that's lots of fun and engaging for most students--the kind of discovery learning that brings us together as a community of learners.