It is with a lot of pleasure that I am able to announce the launch of a new cluster of CLIPS.
Representations of Linear Growing Patterns is based on research conducted by Ruth Beatty at the Institute for Child Studies in Toronto. Although it does not flesh out the experiences that students would have in Grades 4-6 with concrete materials, it certainly alludes to them. Students take pictorial representations, based on coloured tiles, of a pattern and develop graphical representations and algebraic rules. They then explore the role of the constant and multiplier in the pattern rules. One Near North teacher blogged about the change it made in her understanding and about her experience trying it in her classroom.
Among the material created for the cluster are a graphing tool and an open-ended tool to explore the relationships between the representations, including stories and the algebraic equation. The graphing tool is described carefully in Clip 2, Activity 4: Practice Graphing. The Rainbow DSB is conducting a "book study" of this cluster. I hope that soon we can feature some innovative ways to use the Exploring Representations tool resulting from their work. I am hoping to engage the Web 2.0 math teacher community to address the question "What can we do with this?".
The cluster movie is quite different from the "Who Cares?" movies developed for Fractions and Periodic Functions. The overview movie, which should be viewed after working through the development, summarizes the cluster nicely.
There are several improvements to the CLIPS "wrapper", including the ability to set a volume level or mute that is respected throughout navigation and a new scene selector. The major videos can be viewed fullscreen without downloading a huge source file. Trish Steele narrates a new 12-minute introduction to the wrapper that is well worth the time.
Since the activities are primarily flash animations (SWF) with embedded narration, the files are relatively big. The design of CLIPS does not depend on any server technology. Teachers or students who wish to use the activities, but don't want to depend on an internet connection, can download the entire thing and point to the index.html file at the root, for local use.
We thought it would be done earlier and there are still some rough edges (please use the Feedback link at the top right to record anything that you notice) but we are very happy to now have the work officially in circulation.