Finch Patterns

This activity is based on an activity by Lisa Ledford, Debi Williams, and Jo Ray Van Vliet of Towns County Elementary School (Hiawassee, GA).

In this activity, you will use the Finch to practice creating and identifying number patterns. In math class, you may have learned about different number patterns which involve adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Here is an example of an add two number pattern:

2, 4, 6, 8, 10…

What would the rule be for a pattern like this?

14, 11, 8, 5, 2…

First, talk with your group to determine what pattern you want to use. Write out the pattern of numbers. Be sure to include at least five numbers in the sequence.

Next, write a program that will display the numbers within the pattern. You can do this by making the Finch play his buzzer, blink the color of his beak, or move in different directions. Be sure to make it clear when the Finch is moving on to the next number within the sequence. For example, if my pattern started with the numbers 2 and 4, I may make the Finch’s beak blink red twice, turn off for one second, then blink blue four times.

After you have programmed your own Finch to display a number pattern, you can visit other groups to try to figure out what pattern they have created. Record the numbers that their Finch displays to you, then try to figure out the rule with your group.

This activity is aligned to the following Common Core Math Standards: K.OA.A. Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from; 1.OA.C. Add and subtract within 20; 2.OA.B. Add and subtract within 20; 3.OA.D. Solve problems involving the four operations, and identify and explain patterns in arithmetic; 4.OA.C. Generate and analyze patterns; and 5.OA.B. Analyze patterns and relationships.
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