It is possible that I got my title wrong….but there is no time to change it, valuable learning is at stake.
I’ll start by giving a big thank you to Brian Aspinall for sparking this idea. If your students are minecrafters, I would suggest you check this out.
Last year I introduced Pixel Press Floors to my students. An app that let’s you draw/create your own screen scrolling style video game (something many have dreamed about or spent hours doodling I’m sure). We mainly used Floors as a fun ‘June’ activity last year, but I was very impressed by the level of student engagement this app created.
I decided to use this engagement tool/app and to apply it to patterning and algebra (the ‘a’ word sends shivers down many a spine at first). Looking at the curriculum for Gr. 7 and 8 (Ontario) students can demonstrate understanding of many expectations by both designing and playing Floors.
G7 SE 1 ” represent linear growing patterns, using a variety of tools”
G7 SE 8 “evaluate algebraic expressions by substituting natural numbers for the variables”
G8 SE 3 “determine a term, given its term number, in a linear pattern….”
The requirements for students will be to:
embed one linear growing pattern within each floor (3) of their game
When playing other games, they are to identify the three patterns and describe the nth term
Calculate the number of blocks/tiles etc… for the 22nd term
We started looking at Algebra by exploring this web tool:
We have also been using the resource “From Patterns to Algebra” by Nelson Edu. to help us develop an understanding of how to create/build/describe linear patterns, I highly recommend this resource for simple steps to understanding patterns.
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