Thinking in Patterns: Piles of Cubes 1

Patterns can help us figure out information mathematically that might be hard to discover otherwise. In my house, if the children do a chore without being told to do it, they get a bonus 25 cents. So for one chore, they would get 25 cents, 2 chores, 50 cents, 3 chores, 75 cents, and so on. The pattern is 25 cents times the number of chores. But what if they wanted to earn a $2 bonus? From the pattern, we would take 2/.25 = 8. Eight chores done without a reminder would earn the children $2.00.

Patterns and relationships can be shown easily in table format. Build (or draw) piles of cubes in the following manner: for pile #1 build a pile with three cubes on the bottom row and one on top. How many cubes are in the pile? Write it down in a table. Now, for pile #2, add another row of 3 cubes at the bottom of your existing pile. How many cubes are in pile #2? For pile #3, add another row of 3 to the bottom of the previous pile, and so on. Can you see the pattern?

Here’s the answer on youtube:

Handouts: See Session 1 BLM’s 1 and 2.

Create your own pattern at home, and challenge a family member to figure it out!

For more visual patterns to solve, see

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