Visual Patterns

NCSM: Equity, Mathematics, and Mindset
with Nova Katz

Session Handout

See my latest blog post for lots of info about this brick building visual pattern

Lego Brick
  1. First, some common language: bricks, studs, figures, pattern, sequence
  2. Start with a simple pattern and ask, “What do you notice?”

2. After discussing which pieces remain the same and which pieces change, ask, “How could you tell what figure 4 will look like?” Create figure 4.

3. Depending on how far you want to extend the task, ask these questions:

  • Can you draw Figure 4?
  • Can you create a table to represent the number of bricks or studs?
  • If n equals the Figure number, how can you come up with an equation what works for all of the figures in your sequence?
  • Can you tell me how many pieces will I need to create Figure 100?

4. The extension: Add a few blocks to Figure 2 & 3. Ask, “Can you continue the pattern?” And “What does this do to your equation?” Be aware that the color you choose may skew how people see the pattern! 5. Now this is my absolute favorite part, and one there simply isn’t time for at NCSM… “Can you please use this new bag of different sized & shaped pieces to add or edit/change what’s in front of you. But it still has to continue a pattern!” You’ll have to go click on my blog post to see the results!

5. Now this is my absolute favorite part, and one there simply isn’t time for at NCSM… “Can you please use this new bag of different sized & shaped pieces to add or edit/change what’s in front of you. But it still has to continue a pattern!” You’ll have to check out my blog post to see the results!

Resources

VisualPatterns.org by Fawn Nguyen (The one I used is #120 by Megan Schmidt!)

Visual Patterns – Who Needs Them? (an essay)

Algebra through Visual Patterns – Instructional Materials

Sample Lesson Transcript

High School Growing Patterns

NCTM Lesson Plan with Book Connection

YouCubed – Squares Upon Squares (And Video!)

Jo’s Favorite Tile Pattern

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