16 March 2010

Square Numbers

Dear Parents and Students,

Today we discovered square numbers when we were investigating patterns. We built a sequence of red squares with a blue border. We represented the various patterns using numbers and discussed the rule for each pattern.

As part of the activity students predicted that the fourth square would have 12 red squares, but to our surprise it had 16! What was going on? This led us to discover that each red square had a pattern. You could make each square using a multiplication fact:  1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5. That's where we got the 25 from. Students connected that our 'tables' carpet could help us with this pattern and we looked to see how we could calculate square numbers. We then found out that in fact they were all highlighted in a diagonal pattern. So now we could predict the next numbers in the sequence. We just had to keep calculating the next square number! We had also found out that it is really useful to actually see square numbers as a square.

Here's our table to show the sequences:
Position in the sequence:
1
2
3
4
5
Length of the red square/s:
1
2
4
5
6
Number of red squares used:
1
4
9
16
25
Perimeter of red squares:
4
8
12
16
20
Number of border squares:
8
12
16
20
24
Perimeter of border:

12
16
20
24
28

In our pattern inquiry we are discovering you can describe a pattern with a number sequence, you can make a rule to describe the pattern, you have to test it and once you know the pattern you can make a prediction. After all, our lives are run by patterns. Every school day we start at a specific time and you can rely on that every day!

10 March 2010

NEW! Patterns in Mathematics

Dear Parents and Students,

Our new mathematical focus is all about pattern. Have a listen to this song about patterns and talk about how patterns are an important part of building mathematical understanding.




Can you find patterns around you and explain the rule that makes it a pattern?

Judy

Painting Energy

04 March 2010

Light Bulb Moments

Dear Parents,

We've been talking about light bulb moments this week. Times when we've had big 'aha!' during our recent studies. Today was definitely one of these when we looked at different measurements and realised the connection between litres, decilitres, centillitres and millimetres.

1 litre = 10 decilitres = 100 centilitres = 1000 millilitres

Just like:

1 metre = 10 decimetres = 100 centimetres = 1000 millimetres

There's a number system at work! We also discovered deci means 10, centi 100 and milli 1000, all connected to the Latin language. That's why we have decade, century and millennium. One student even connected how the English language uses these words because of the Roman Empire and invasions from his historical reading. It's been one of those exciting moments when measure, place value, decimals, fractions, increasing numbers ten times, etymology, history, all these things we've talked about over the year came together.

Just had to share that with you!

Judy

02 March 2010

Personal Connections: Research Task

 Dear Parents and Students,

I have just set the class their next personal connections task. I have asked each student to go home tonight and read through the instructions carefully as the task has a clear set of criteria. I have also asked students to think if they need any supplies from school and to be ready with any requests. We are all using our research skills to complete the task.

The task deadline is Thursday 11th March.

In addition students should continue reading and updating their reading records.

Ms. Judy