Staircases- Find, Describe and Extend Patterns

posted Dec 6, 2016, 5:50 PM by Patrick Johnson   [ updated Dec 6, 2016, 5:52 PM ]
Today students build a staircase with Cuisenaire Rods and extended the patterns they saw in order to find the number of white rods needed to build a staircase of a specific height.

First, students were given the opportunity to explore and build with the rods.

Students were then shown the value assigned to each of the rods.

Next, students were challenged to build staircases out of the rods. Afterwards, we examined the staircases and discussed the number patterns.

Students said this staircase was shrinking by 1s.
Students said this staircase was shrinking by 3s starting at 30.
Students said this staircase was growing by 1s then was shrinking by 1s and the pattern repeated.

Finally, students were given the challenging math task below.

Below are some of the solutions students came up with. Some students sketched the problem on grid paper where others made the staircase using the rods. Some groups added each column in their solution where others rearranged the rods into groups of 10.