Adapted from Creative Publication’s Algebra Thinking: First Experiences, students were given a set of patterns pictorially, verbally and in a chart. Students then work in pairs to come up with the next few stages of the pattern, the equation and a graph. Finally, students were asked to determine whether each pattern was proportional or non-proportional.
Where does SMART come in? The activity is done entirely using cm cubes, so basically using the SMARTboard, students can choose to complete the exact same activity, only with less mess.
I start out modeling the activities with the entire class using my Notebook Software as my students work with color tiles or cubes. I then allow student volunteers to be the “class models” for the entire class.
The video below illustrates how this is done in class.
During the next phase, students then break into small groups to complete the balance of the activities before creating their own increasing or decreasing, proportional and non-proportional patterns on chart paper.
By the way, I have one Algebra class with 8 first year English language learners and they completed this activity, opting for the SMARTboard versus cubes.
Their level of understanding and development was 100% on the same level as my English speaking students and that was a huge accomplishment! In the collage of posters on the left is one of theirs and it was pretty great!