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ERIC Number: EJ937228
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Lining up Arithmetic Sequences
Bell, Carol J.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v17 n1 p34-39 Aug 2011
Most future teachers are familiar with number patterns that represent an arithmetic sequence, and most are able to determine the general representation of the "n"th number in the pattern. However, when they are given a visual representation instead of the numbers in the pattern, it is not always easy for them to make the connection between the visual and symbolic representation of the pattern. By exploring a variety of number patterns in a visual context, students gain a deeper understanding of arithmetic sequences by learning how to relate the illustration to the general symbolic representation of these patterns. Providing opportunities for students that promote problem solving, reasoning, communication, connections, and designing and analyzing representations is a theme that is present throughout the "Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics" (NCTM 2006). However, being able to bring together these ideas into one lesson can be challenging. In this article, the author describes one activity that combined these ideas. The activity was completed with preservice elementary school and middle school teachers in a methods course. The purpose of the activity was to help preservice teachers understand how the symbolic form of an arithmetic sequence can be formed from its geometric representation. (Contains 5 figures and 1 table.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A