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Spring SAVY 2014, Week 3 – Awesome Algebra (Kindergarten)

Posted by on Monday, February 24, 2014 in SAVY blog.

Awesome Algebra

Spring SAVY 2014

Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue…our focus this week was patterns. Students were very familiar with various repeating patterns, so we used this as a jumping off point for growing patterns like red, blue, red, red, blue, red, red, red, blue, and so on. They enjoyed coming up with these patterns, and this work helped us prepare for some problems that included numeric patterns. In algebra, patterns can be solved using functions. Next week, we will continue our work looking at patterns and even creating functions that represent our patterns.

One interesting discussion from this week was about a definition for patterns. At the beginning of class, students defined patterns as something that repeated over and over again. As the class progressed, we started challenging that definition as we explored growing patterns and numeric patterns because they weren’t repeating in the same way as the ABAB patterns. We started using the word predictable to describe patterns. We will revisit this definition next week, but it was great to see the students question their first understanding and come up with an idea that was more accurate.

We also completed some puzzles that had students use reasoning skills to solve for unknowns. Right now, our unknowns are symbols and pictures. In the coming weeks, we will connect that idea to using letters as unknowns.