This week’s mission was titled – Collaboration Nation. What a great mission! First of all, it exposed me to may sites I have not yet found. It also gave me a chance to look at some sites I saw or have heard of before, but hadn’t had the moment to explore further than the link I clicked on from twitter, or from someone else’s blog. Desmos is something I’d like to look further into because I’ll soon be working on Conic Sections with students. It looks to be a great place to have students create some fabulous artwork with math! There are many sites I am going to try to look at even more, but for this mission, I think I’ll focus on @fawnpnguyen’s VisualPatterns.
Soon, my Honors Precalculus course will be doing a unit on Sequences and Series. Students are typically good at this chapter, as a lot of it is review from Honors Advanced Algebra. This group of students are also good at following the process for writing the rules (equations) and can even distinguish between types of patterns (arithmetic, geometric…). That is the case when numbers are involved. When the numbers are gone, and things get more visual, the patterns tend to be a bit trickier for these kids to battle. I like the idea of giving them a pattern or two to think about at the beginning of class, to get their mind moving. I particularly like the patterns I found at the front of the page when I clicked the link, the pattern that was missing terms in between, but also asked about a 43rd term of the pattern. There are different thought processes that have to go on with something like this, including how the picture should look.
There are also a lot of Vi Hart posts (YouTube) that deal with patterns, and thinking about them differently that I like to show to my class. I am happy to have another resource to share with my students to think about math differently than the “training for Calculus” we typically do throughout their high school experience.