Thursday, December 11, 2014

Math Games Class 6

Who: Baan Pathomtham 1st and 2nd grade classes
Where: Bangkok, Thailand
When: after science and before lunch

Pattern discussion

Homework from last week was to investigate the following patterns:
Pattern 1: Red - Green- Red - Red - Green - Red - Red - Red - Green .... (+1 increasing sequence of red blocks punctuated by single green blocks)
Pattern 2: Pink - Red - Pink - Pink - Red - Red - Pink - Pink - Pink - Red - Red - Red ...
(+1 increasing sequence of pinks followed by an equal number of reds)
As a specific  target in the investigation, we asked which color appears as the 100th term of the sequence and what is the closest position to 100 for the color that isn't the 100th term.

In class, we talked about how the kids approached this challenge.  Almost everyone took a brute force approach and wrote out the entire sequence up to 100. What else could they have done? Let's start with Pattern 1.

Most kids noticed in class that Pattern 1 has far more red blocks than green.  Given any large number, then, their best guess is that the block will be red.  They were also good about recognizing that their confidence in this prediction would be higher if the number was bigger. For older kids, this could be an interesting path for further exploration.

In class, we talked about some other ways to explore these patterns. After completing this post, I will write up an outline of what we discussed.  Part of the homework this week is for the kids to share with their parents what they learned from this exploration.

Ring Your Neck (New Card Game)

Materials: 2 players, standard pack of playing cards (all 52) and a piece of paper to keep score.
Set-up: Deal out 13 cards face down in a circle in front of the players
Play: Players alternate picking up either 1 or 2 cards (their choice) from whatever remains on the
table 13 cards
Scoring: After all 13 cards have been collected, players add up the cards they have collected according to the following values:

  • card 7 has value -7
  • card J has value -11
  • card Q has value +12
  • card K has value +13
  • card A has value 1
  • all other numbers have their face value

Most importantly, the person who collected the last card (or two cards) gets + 50 bonus!

To play the next round: Collect the first 13 cards in a discard pile, then deal face down the next 13 from the deck.


  1. Talk with your parents about what you learned in the pattern exploration
  2. Play Ring Your Neck 4 (or more rounds) with your parents and show us the scoresheet

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