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ERIC Number: EJ1096467
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0286
Power Patterns: Extending Number Sense through Last Digit Investigations
West, John
Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, v21 n1 p29-33 2016
Problems sourced from national and international competitions such as the Australian Mathematics Competition are often used effectively as enrichment and/or extension activities for high achieving students. While this has meant that they are sometimes deemed too esoteric or trivial for use in the regular classroom, this paper takes the view that the study of patterns and relationships is at the heart of mathematics and that such problems provide an excellent opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of mathematical reasoning. Thus problems that may be dismissed as mere mathematical curiosities may in fact represent a valuable resource for the time-poor teacher. Posamentier and Krulik (2012) suggest a range of strategies for motivating students in mathematics. These include: indicating a void in students' knowledge, discovering a pattern, presenting a challenge, enticing the class with a "gee-whiz" mathematical result and getting students involved in justifying mathematical curiosities. The investigation described here incorporates several of these strategies as students discover the cyclical pattern that exists in the last digits of the powers of various digits. The investigation is intended as a possible activity for upper primary students.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A