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  • Rachael Young

    January 3, 2022 at 6:31 am

    Happy New Year guys! This is a unit I’ll be starting the new year with with my Year 7s (Australian, here, so we start the new year at the end of Jan). The unit is on Whole Number and I’m using as the example for this reflection the idea of index notation. There are a few outcomes relating to this broad concept in the Year 7 Australian Curriculum course but I’m focusing on representing patterns in square numbers and the connection between square numbers and index notation. Last year, with QR codes being very topical, I designed an exploration called Quirky QR codes challenging students to work out how many unique QR codes can be drawn on different sized square grids. Considering prior knowledge, like most of us, my classes tend to be very diverse with a 4 – 5 year difference in skills being typical. Some students will know what ‘square numbers’ are and have the understanding that it is x times x (eg 2 x 2, 3 x 3, 4 x 4 etc). They may know that square numbers form square arrays. There isn’t any specific prior knowledge on index notation, as it is introduced in Year 7 for the first time. My experience tells me that they confuse ‘squared’ with ‘x 2’ eg 6 squared = 12 (6 x 2 not 6 x 6) so this is a common mistake I’ll be looking out for.