Project-based learning stations that help students bridge observations to algebraic concepts through semester-long inquiries (each inquiry takes about a week). Once the class has completed the eight inquiries, the teacher may guide them through the inquiries again, exploring new patterns, variables and functions at a more complex level.

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Introduction

by Sarah Zainfeld

Students learn science and math through opportunities to see and describe patterns in the world using learning stations, group work, and self-paced reflection journals
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Goals

by Sarah Zainfeld

Design philosophy of the Patterns, Variables and Functions Unit
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Overview

by Sarah Zainfeld

Self-paced, inquiry-based learning
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Rationale

by Sarah Zainfeld

Fifth and sixth grade students benefit from activities that allow them to build on their own intuitive sense of the way the world works. …from the Patterns, Variables and Functions Unit
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Context

by Sarah Zainfeld

Throughout the school year, the concept of the "infinite" may have arisen across the disciplines …from the Patterns, Variables and Functions Unit
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Assessment

by Sarah Zainfeld

...assessment for this unit is built into each lesson...…from the Patterns, Variables and Functions Unit
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It is the goal of this inquiry to introduce students to many instances within the disciplines (besides math, alone), in which the concept of "infinite" appears. After students have completed all eight inquiries, they cycle back and start on this one again,choosing a new question and group from which to base the rest of the eight inquiries that follow.
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This inquiry presents students with opportunities to use their intuitive definitions of patterns, the infinite, and variables, while exploring the properties and relationships of objects in a variety of contexts.
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Students move from actual physical experience with objects (variables) and their relationships (functions), toward a symbolic notion of the concepts.
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Students learn the function of an exponent
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Students will see relationships between variables and functions in order to solve equations.
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Understand and use variables in a symbolic way.
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Make connections between observed phenomena in the world and math vocabulary
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Demonstrate relationships between objects or events and the variables, factors, functions or patterns that describe them.
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