Let me take this oppurtunity to first of all thank Fawn Nguyen for her super hard work on visualpatterns.org. It’s pretty freaking awesome and I am inordinately excited to see my submissions on there.

Wierdly, so were the students. But still.

I used this in two GCSE resit classes.

We kicked off with a brief review of how to find nth term for a linear sequence; and then had a look at one of the patterns on the site (#53) and worked through the sweet worksheet Fawn designed. And then I set them off to find whatever patterns they wanted on the site and work through the sheet for them.

I got around the students to talk about the patterns they were working on and got to listen in about why pattern #57 had a +1 on the end as the student explained it to my teaching assisstant:

“See you have 3 extra toothpicks from each square, but if we only have 3n then we don’t have the bit on the end closed off like it is in the diagram”

I gave her some paperclips to help out and she arranged them like this:

then like this:

Which was pretty cool to see/hear.

(Mental note: get some toothpicks and other physical things for lessons like this)

I also got to discuss some non-linear patterns with a student who wants tot ake higher tier. she started to recognise patterns involving square numbers and generating patterns like the number of squares shown here (She decided she wasn’t ready to tackle number of toothpicks, and I didn’t mind)

In the last 10mins I let the students work on creating their own patterns, or designs using the link on the site.

Thank you so much Fawn!

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Love the use of paperclips, Nik. I especially appreciate the patterns you’d submitted because they are the only ones we currently have that are created of real objects. Thank you for the shout-out. Yeah to us!

I only used paperclips because I had nothing else and no pencils the same length. Wish I had some toothpicks. Time to buy more random stuff I think.

I think real objects are cool, but it is so hard to get a balance between objects, pictures of objects and pictures! Which is why things like this are so useful. Maybe

So yeah. Go us!

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