Featured Topic: Investigating Growing Patterns

 Introduce elementary students to the concept of functions by investigating growing patterns. Visual patterns formed with manipulatives are especially effective for elementary students and allow them to concretely build understanding as they first reproduce, then extend the pattern to the next couple of stages. Finally, students explain the pattern in words and try to write a rule that works for any stage. See Investigating Growing Patterns for specific suggestions on using these patterns to help elementary students develop a concept of functions. The article includes activities with handouts that teachers can use to introduce this topic to elementary students. A Function Scrapbook of function ideas is included and examples of function problems created by elementary students will be added as they are completed. Literature connections and web links to relevant sites on the internet are also included in the article.

Earth Day Math Activities

In a time when environmental activists are urging every American to make small changes, these PBS Mathline activities focus on mathematical investigations of earth-friendly practices, including energy usage and recycling. They provide real data and encourage students to follow the data trail through time in hopes that they will be prompted to take action.

Using Who Has? Decks to Practice Basic Facts

Once students have developed conceptual understanding of the basic operations they need to develop fluency with the facts. One quick way to include daily practice and motivate students to master these basic facts is through the use of the Who Has? card decks. These decks can be created for virtually any topic and frequent use as both a whole class practice or as a center activity for partners or small groups will provide facts practice in a highly-motivating format.

• Who Has? Activities includes a discussion of Classroom Management Strategies and additional classroom-ready decks.

Mathwire Blog

Don't miss the new Mathwire Blog for the latest updates on Mathwire! The Mathwire blog will feature new activities as they are added to the Mathwire collection and it will also spotlight classic Mathwire activities, adding suggestions for classroom implementation and/or modifications to best meet the needs of varied students in a classroom.

Best of all, the Mathwire Blog format allows users to comment on the activities and add their own ideas to the mix. This should benefit all of us as we try to engage students in learning mathematics.

Check out the new Mathwire Blog and be one of the first to become an active contributor to the Mathwire family. The Mathwire Blog replaces the old Mathwire subscription e-mail lists so that you are constantly up-to-date on Mathwire happenings.

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