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Carla Tirotta

Unit Overview

Unit title:

Algebraic Patterns

Content maths area:

Algebra

Grade/year level:

Six

Learning Focus (ideas extrapolated from AusVELS):

Number and Algebra

Pattern and Algebra

Understanding and Problem Solving

Rationale:

It is important for algebraic concepts such as, generalising patterns, to be introduced to

students at a primary level (Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Kolovou & Robitzsch,

2013). This will allow for students to develop more complex thinking

processes, which will be beneficial across all domains of the curriculum

throughout their education (Windsor, 2010).

Assumed prior knowledge of students:

Students have already had experiences working with repeating and growing patterns

from previous years in their schooling and have a basic knowledge of both types of

patterns. Student also have had experience with continuing on with sequencing patterns

(Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2012).

Students will be grouped in mixed abilities, allowing for an opportunity for students to

learn off each other (Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Kolovou & Robitzsch 2013). Groups

Overview of assessment:

The types of assessment being used throughout this unit will consist of, observations,

anecdotal notes and self-assessments. These particular assessments will be used to

allow the teacher to become aware of the students understanding of the topic, and what

misconceptions they might have. The formative assessments being used, such as selfassessment, will help students take control of their learning and keep track of the new

discoveries they are making throughout the unit. The summative assessments being

used, such as anecdotal notes, will allow for teachers to identify the areas of content

that needs to be covered in more detail. In addition to making observations and taking

anecdotal notes, work samples will be collected as evidence of understanding.

References:

Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M., Kolovou, A., & Robitzsch, A. (2013). Primary school

students strategies in early algebra problem solving supported by an online

game. Educational Studies In Mathematics, 84(3), 281-307.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10649-013-9483-5

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2012). Mathematics scope and

sequence (F-10) [Curriculum document]. Retrieved from

http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Level6?layout=1&d=M

Windsor, W. (2011). How problem solving can develop and algebraic perspective of

mathematics.Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 16(4), 8-12.

Topic: Number Algebra

Key mathematical understandings

patterns

Level descriptions:

Continue and create sequences involving whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Describe the rule used to create the

sequence (ACMNA133)

Proficiency strand(s):

Understanding:

Recognise that there are different types of patterns

Identify repeating and growing patterns

Understand how to describe and generalise patterns

or grow

pattern

the mathematical idea/topic that students might develop):

Week: 5

Content strand(s):

Number and Algebra

Sub-strand(s):

Pattern and Algebra

Term: 2

pattern

Not knowing how patterns grow

Not knowing patterns can be generalised

Link to applet:

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/frames_asid_184_g_1

_t_2.html?from=topic_t_2.htm

Paper/ stationary

Coloured counters

Repeating: patterns that repeat in a loop

Constant: part of a pattern that never changes

Generalising: a sentence or rule that can be

applied to all situations

Rules: statement explaining how a pattern grows

and changes

Formulas: an equation or number sentence, which

can be made to describe the changes in a pattern

and can be applied to other circumstances

Patterns: something that follows a rule

Variables: parts of the pattern that change

probing questions):

How would you describe this pattern in a

sentence?

What type of pattern do you think this is?

What remains constant in this pattern?

What variables can you see in this pattern?

Could there be a different way of seeing this

following rules in mathematics

Learning

strategies/ skills

Analysing

Checking

Classifying

Co-operating

Considering options

Designing

Elaborating

MATHEMATICAL

FOCUS

Estimating

Explaining

Generalising

Hypothesising

Inferring

Interpreting

Justifying

TUNING IN

(WHOLE CLASS FOCUS)

pattern?

Does each way of seeing have the same

result for the next object in the pattern?

How is the pattern growing?

What generalisations can you make about this

pattern?

Is there a number sentence you could make

to describe the pattern?

Listening

Locating information

Making choices

Note taking

Observing

Ordering events

Organising

INVESTIGATIONS

SESSION

(INDEPENDENT LEARNING)

Performing

Persuading

Planning

Predicting

Presenting

Providing feedback

Questioning

Reading

Recognising bias

Reflecting

Reporting

Responding

Restating

Revising

CONNECTIONS

SESSION

Seeing patterns

Selecting information

Self-assessing

Sharing ideas

Summarising

Synthesising

ADAPTATIONS

Testing

Viewing

Visually representing

Working independently

Working to a timetable

ASSESSMENT

STRATEGIES

Session 1

Introduction to

patterns

Basic

understanding

that there a

different types

of patterns that

have different

rules

ask students to visit:

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/

frames_asid_184_g_1_t_2.

html?from=topic_t_2.htm

Using this applet, they will

need to investigate and

complete patterns online

Probing questions:

How did you know what

colour came next?

How would you describe

this pattern in a sentence?

What type of pattern do

you think this is?

different number patterns

(see Appendix 1). Explain

to students that they will

need to continue on the

number pattern or fill in the

gaps individually.

difference between

repeating patterns and

growing number patterns.

a rule for each pattern,

describing how the pattern

grows in one sentence.

these two types of

patterns?

What is different?

Probing questions:

What do you notice about

this pattern?

How are the numbers

increasing?

How do you know what

number will come next?

Discussion of identified

rules.

Enabling prompt:

For students who are

struggling, there can be a

table that is allocated for

students to work together

guided by the teacher.

Use of simpler number

patters can be

implemented

Extending prompt:

More complex number

patterns can be included

with larger numbers

Student can begin to work

with fraction number

patterns

What do you notice about

the pattern?

How could you describe

the changes being made to

the pattern?

What is the relationship

between each number?

to correctly complete

patterns, taking anecdotal

notes.

Have a self-assessment

where students assess

what they already know.

Session 2

Basic

understanding

of the

characteristics

of growing and

repeating

patterns

Session 3

Further

understanding

of growing

patterns

Basic

understanding

of how to

generalise

patterns

have student brainstorm

what they already know

about growing patterns and

how they are they are

different to repeating

patterns.

Probing questions:

Tell me everything you

already know about

growing patterns?

patterns (Appendix 3).

Have students draw what

they think the next image in

the pattern would look like

and explain why they think

it would look that way.

Probing question:

What changes can you see

with each shape?

Is the shape getting larger?

(See Appendix 2).

Explain that there is a

street where each house

looks exactly the same.

Questions: If there are five

trees with one house on

the street, how many trees

will there be with 10

houses on the street?

Probing questions:

How might you count how

many trees there will be for

more than one house?

Put up image of

Cassowary for class to look

at. (See Appendix 4). In

pairs, students can begin

to analyse the pattern and

draw what the cassowary

image would look like at

age six.

Probing questions:

Would it help to section the

cassowary into different

body parts?

What parts of the

cassowary do not change?

What parts of the

cassowary do grow?

talking about what type of

pattern they think this

question involves and

why?

Have students share their

own way of working to find

the answer.

Probing questions:

What is constant about this

pattern?

Have a discussion about

the meaning of the term

constant

different ways of which

they saw the pattern grow.

Put up images of different

ways of seeing the pattern

(see Appendix 5)

Discuss terms such as

variables and constants.

Probing questions:

What are some differences

between each way of

seeing?

Does each way have the

same result for the next

age in the pattern?

Enabling prompt:

For students who are

struggling to visualise the

problem, they can use

material object such as

counters. Using one colour

for the house and one

colour for the trees so they

can physically count how

many trees there would be

Extending prompt:

Students could work out

how many trees there

could be for a larger

amount of houses.

How many trees would

there be for 50 houses?

Is there another way of

working this out without

drawing the houses?

Enabling prompt:

Have students draw what

the cassowary would look

like at age four

Have the cassowary

highlighted into different

sections so students are

able to visualise changes

being made to specific

areas

What parts of the

cassowary do not change/

remain constant?

Extending prompt:

What would the cassowary

look like at age 10?

How do you know this?

What generalisations can

be made about the

pattern?

of what students already

know about repeating

patterns.

Taking anecdotal notes of

students ability to answer

the question about the

house. Taking note of the

strategies those students

use and how efficient

there working out is.

Anecdotal notes of

students ability to

analyse the pattern and

make generalisations of

how it grows. Observe

and assess the accuracy

of their drawings for what

the cassowary will look

like at age 6. Take note of

responses to probing

questions to grasp an

understanding of the

students way of thinking,

Session 4

Further

understanding

of growing

patterns

Learning to

see patterns in

different ways

Making

generalisations

about patterns

ship constructed from

blocks on the board in front

of the class (see Appendix

6)

Ask students to imagine

they were going to call their

friend to explain what the

image looks like and how

the pattern grows. Get

each student to write down

a description of the image,

providing enough

information for his or her

friend to be able to draw

the next image in the

pattern.

patterns to all students.

Find two different ways of

seeing the pattern (See

Appendix 7). Use

highlighters to visualise

different ways of seeing

working in pairs.

Together work out what

would the seventh image in

the pattern look like. Draw

image in books

the pattern using numbers

and words describing how

the pattern grows.

Probing questions:

What remains constant?

What variables can you

see?

How are the shapes

growing?

added to each section of

the shape?

with each other.

Open task: Each student

will construct their own

growing pattern in their

book. They will need to

draw their own shape and

at least three images for

their growing pattern.

walk around the class to

have a look at the different

patterns their peers have

made.

Enabling prompt:

Provide student with a

pattern, which they can

make slight changes to, to

use as their own pattern.

about what they saw and

the patterns they found to

be interesting.

Extending prompt:

Have students find what

the 100th pattern would

look like

Is there are formula that

could be made to help you

find the answer?

Probing questions:

Could we break the pattern

up into sections to describe

our way of seeing?

What letters could we use

to represent each section?

Enabling prompt:

Provide students with one

way of seeing as an

example and then get them

to find one more way of

seeing.

Instead of finding the

seventh image in the

pattern, ask students to

find the fourth

Extending prompt:

Could there be a third way

of seeing?

What would the 17th image

look like?

Can you describe this

using the rule, without

drawing the shape?

Anecdotal notes of

students ability to come

up with at least two

different ways of seeing.

Assessing the accuracy

of the generalisations

made about how the

pattern grows. Observing

student contribution to

class discussion when

creating a rule for the

pattern, assessing

students understanding

of how to make rules.

Probing questions:

What stays the same in

each image?

What changes are made in

each pattern?

How does the pattern

grow?

Session 5

Understan

ding how

to make

rules and

generalise

growing

patterns

growing patterns to each

table (Appendix 8). As a

group, ask students to

develop a rule using

numbers and words to

describe how the pattern

grows.

Probing questions:

What generalisations can

be made about the

pattern?

What is constant?

What changes can you

see?

their shape, they will need

to swap with their partner.

Each student will then

analyse their partners

growing pattern, create a

generalised rule and draw

what the sixth image in the

growing pattern would look

have similar rules?

from students and assess

their ability to construct a

growing pattern and

ability to create a

generalised rule for

patterns.

Have students complete

another self-assessment

indicating the new

information they have

learnt throughout the unit,

comparing it to their selfassessment from the

beginning of the unit.

like.

Probing questions:

What generalisations can

be made about the

pattern?

What is constant?

What changes can you

see?

Appendices

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

(Sourced from Ann Downtons Week Seven Lecture in EDMA360 Mathematics Learning and Teaching 2)

Appendix 3

Appendix 4 (Sourced from Jill Browns Week 7 Whole Class Task, Exploring Mathematics 2 EDMA369).

Appendix 5 (Sourced from Jill Browns Week 7 Whole Class Task, Exploring Mathematics 2 EDMA369).

Appendix 6 (Sourced from Exploring Mathematics 2 EDMA369, Semester 1, 2015 Problem Book).

Appendix 7

Appendix 8

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