Patterns: Arithmetic, Geometric and Neither!

My 6th grade teachers are working on a stations activity for their students for next week.  They wanted a pattern sort and I told them that I could help.  Last night I worked on a 3-tiered activity for them.  



The teachers will decide which students should use which tier.  Tier 1 has basic arithmetic and geometric sequences with small common differences or rations – 2,3,4,5.  Tier 2 ups the arithmetic and geometric common differences and rations to 5,6,7,8,9.  Tier 3 uses the same common differences and ratios as tier 2, however negatives and fractions are added into the mix.  All three tiers include the Fibonacci sequence, triangular numbers and perfect squares.   Each tier has 32 cards – 16 patterns and 16 rules.

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After matching the pattern to it’s rule, students can sort and identify the patterns as arithmetic, geometric or neither.   Then, for accountability, an answer sheet has been included for students to write down their responses.  On the answer sheet students should write the original sequence and decide whether it is arithmetic, geometric, or neither. Students must provide mathematical evidence to support their choice.


This activity is ideal for stations, independent or partner practice, or formative assessment.  I’m really excited to see what my teachers think of the activity!

Categories: mathematical reasoning, mental math, patterns, functions and algebra, and Uncategorized.

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