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Secondary Magazine - Issue 38: An idea for the classroom

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 06 July 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 July 2009 by ncetm_administrator

Secondary Magazine Issue 38   sequence illustration

An idea for the classroom - sequences 

After watching an English colleague teaching a lesson using the Reading images technique from the Leading in Learning materials, I wondered how and whether this would be transferable into a mathematics lesson?

We have been working on sequences, so I wanted to find out if my pupils really did understand what was happening. I gave them, in pairs, a copy of this worksheet and asked them to tell me what they noticed. I got a wide range of responses which included:

  • continuing each of the sequences for several terms
  • describing how to draw the next term in the sequence
  • writing the numbers next to the pictures
  • writing each of the number sequences
  • working out the nth term for each sequence (*)
  • writing a title for the page
  • drawing a new sequence that starts with the same two dots
  • choosing a new starting pattern and drawing several new sequences.

(*) I was delighted that some pupils, working on the red sequence, could write the nth term and put a little cross in the ‘missing’ space to show where the -1 part of 3n-1 came from.

To finish, each pupil had a clean sheet of paper and suggested their own starting pattern to produce a similar image for others to read.

With pupils who are not used to working on open tasks you may want to offer some of those responses as suggestions.

Have you tried the Reading images technique in your classroom? Why not tell us about it?

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