Reflection: High Quality Task Introduction to Sequences - Section 1: Opening Activity


Going into this opening activity, I was really excited about having the students look at the structure of the sequences that I created.  I fully anticipated a wide variety of groupings that would promote great discussion for the class period, as well as the roll out of the entire unit.  However, after doing the activity I was very surprised (and initially disappointed) that my students focused on surface-level characteristics of the sequences, rather than the structural qualities that I was hoping to bring to the forefront.  All except for three groups arranged piles with the following headings:  

Positive - Negative - Both     OR    Increasing - Decreasing - Neither

I failed to direct students to look deeply at the mathematical structure of the sequences.  Although the signs of the terms are significant, I wanted them to dig deeper.  I believe that simply mentioning this to them at the start would have avoided this trivial sorting!  I this activity had a lot of merit however I'd add in more explicit directions before the activity or as soon as I notice students over simplifying the task. 

  The Results of the Activity - Not what I expected!
  High Quality Task: The Results of the Activity - Not what I expected!
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Introduction to Sequences

Unit 3: Sequences and Series
Lesson 1 of 15

Objective: Students will be able to make use of structure to differentiate between types of sequences and also be able to explain how a sequence can be expressed as a function with a domain consisting of the positive integers.

Big Idea: Are sequences just patterns? No, there is so much more!

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, Algebra, Patterns (Algebra), Algebra II, master teacher project, 11th Grade
  42 minutes
copy of introduction to sequences
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