With the permission of my IT guy, he opened up Twitter so that my students had access to it on the school network. I gave each student 25 1-inch foam tiles and asked them to create a pattern with them. We discussed that we wanted a linear pattern (the change was consistent) and it had to be a pattern, not random arrangements with a certain amount of tiles.
We have 1 iPad2 cart in my building, that I'm hogging. :) I asked the student to create a Twitter account, take a photo of their tiles, and post it on Twitter.
I've asked the students to use the hashtag #Oswald123456. Where 123456 is the date. I may add a seventh number incase we are doing more than one problem each day. OR even an 8th number to specify what period. Sheesh, this hashtag is getting loooong.
Once the students posted their photos, we took a look at each one and discussed a few things:
- Is it a pattern? Meaning, can we easily create the next term based on the 3 they gave us?
- Is the pattern linear? In other words, do we add the same amount of tiles each time?
- How many tiles are in each term for the first 6 terms?
- How many tiles are in the nth term?
- How many tiles are in the 50th term?
Here are a few examples of patterns we decided were linear?
Below are some examples that we decided were linear, but we couldn't easily determine how to create the next term with tiles:
Finally, the follow let to some interesting conversations about linear patterns and what is not linear.
Going through each photo one-by-one proved to be successful. How do I know? The next day the students easily created linear patterns at their tables with the tiles.