Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three Part Lesson: Identifying and Extending Patterns

This is the three-part lesson we observed during our visit to Jennifer's classroom.

Prior Learning:
Our visit was in the middle of Jennifer's unit.  Students had experiences identifying and describing patterns.  They were also able to label repeating patterns as ABAB, ABBABB etc.

Jennifer had just introduced the class to the term 'pattern core'.

Part 1: Activating Prior Learning
Jennifer wrote a pattern on the write-board and begun by asking students about the core (the part of the pattern that repeats).  After students shared, she circled the core.

Then, Jennifer asked students to identify which shape comes next.  After a student shared his answer, he came up and drew the shape. The rest of the class agreed or disagreed.

After the repeating pattern was extended accurately, she asked students to identify the type of repeating pattern (What do we call all patterns that look like this?)

This process was repeated a second time.

 Part 2:  Working on It
Jennifer introduced the problem to the class.  She gave them a strip of paper with a pattern on it.  Students were asked to work with a partner to complete it.

In addition to extending the pattern, students were asked to label the pattern and circle the pattern core.  This is what they did:

Misconception: this pair thought the pattern core was each individual parts of the pattern.
Misconception: this pair thought the pattern core was the four shapes already on the paper.
This pair was one of the few pairs that correctly identified the pattern core.

Part 3:  Reflecting and Connecting (Consolidation)
Jennifer asked three pairs to share their work with the whole class.  These three were strategically chosen to highlight the thinking Jennifer observed during the part two of the lesson. 

Part 3: Explicit Teaching
Jennifer cleared up some misconceptions by re-directing students to the original examples they worked on during the part one of the lesson.

It was clear that Jennifer's students were able to identify and describe repeating patterns.  However, they need more experiences identifying the pattern core. 

Let us know how it goes, if you try this lesson with your class!

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