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**Individually-Paced Math Sequence Lesson Plan (60 minutes)
**

Patterns and Pascal’s Triangle

Specific Objectives to Meet Goals:

Students will be able to make connections and recognize patterns by analyzing Pascal’s Triangle.

Students will be able to use Pascal’s Triangle to calculate powers of eleven and to solve basic

combinatorial probability problems.

Students will be able to compute with modular arithmetic and use that knowledge to find fractal

patterns in Pascal’s Triangle.

Motivational Techniques:

I will begin the lesson with a think-pair-share activity that allows the students to first explore

Pascal’s Triangle for themselves, individually experimenting with numbers and identifying

patterns. Thus, the students make their learning their own. They then continue to brainstorm

with a partner before the teams share one or two of their best findings with the class. This piques

student interest in the vast realm of possibilities hidden within Pascal’s Triangle that they will

discover throughout the lesson.

Materials Needed:

Pascal’s Triangle handouts (two per student), powers of 11/combinatorics worksheet, pencils,

four different colored markers (per student), ruler, overhead projector or document camera,

graphing calculator (preferable), supplemental materials on the Sierpinski Triangle

Procedure for the Lesson:

-Students receive handout of Pascal’s Triangle to 15 rows, identify the main pattern, and

individually look for more patterns (5 minutes)

-Patterns in sums of rows, in columns/diagonals, in rows that begin with a prime in

column 1, Fibonacci numbers, “hockey stick” (suggest any of these pattern ideas as

needed)

-Students pair up with a partner, share their findings, and continue to brainstorm (5 minutes)

-Each pair shares one or two findings; supplement student findings with other patterns, covering

the patterns listed above (10 minutes)

-Briefly explain how to use Pascal’s Triangle to find powers of eleven and to solve basic

combinatorial probability problems; students complete corresponding worksheet (15 minutes)

-Coloring Pascal’s Triangle with Modular Arithmetic Activity (25 minutes)

-Briefly explain modular arithmetic; color rows 0-3 of Pascal’s Triangle as a class using

mod-4 arithmetic

**-Students color rows 4-7 of Pascal’s Triangle using mod-4 arithmetic; class discusses
**

existing patterns and uses findings to complete the rest of the Triangle

-Follow up by recognizing the pattern made by mod-4 as the Sierpinski Triangle; have

supplemental materials ready for students who wish to learn more

-Follow up with individuals sharing one favorite pattern/application (time permitting)

Academic Language

Pascal’s Triangle, row, column, pattern, sequence, prime, Fibonacci, powers, combination,

modular arithmetic, mod-4, Sierpinski Triangle

Assessment Methods

Use student input during pair sharing and class examples to gauge how well students are

connecting with the material; on a more individual basis, walk around the classroom as the

students complete the worksheet and the mod-4 colorings (ask and answer questions, make sure

students understand the concepts, address any issues)

**Pascal’s Triangle Worksheet – Answer Key
**

Powers of 11 – Use Pascal’s Triangle to determine the value of the following powers of 11*:

1. 114 =

14641

5

2. 11 =

161051

6

3. 11 =

1771561

7

4. 11 =

19487171

Combinatorics – Use Pascal’s Triangle to solve the following problems*:

1. An ice cream shop has eight different sundae toppings: walnuts, cherries, jimmies, peanuts,

gummy bears, cookie dough, chocolate drizzle, and marshmallow fluff. Rebekah wants to

order all the toppings; however, Rebekah’s mother tells her she can only choose three.

How many different combinations of sundae toppings could Rebekah make?

8 choose 3 8th row, 3rd column

56 combinations

2. James really likes to visit the county fair each year. Each time he goes, he and his friends

choose six different rides to go on together. If there are ten total rides at the fair, how many

unique combinations of rides could James and his friends make?

10 choose 6 10th row, 6th column

210 combinations

3. If there are 252 combinations Kayla could make when choosing pizza toppings, how many

total pizza toppings are there? How many toppings can she choose?

Find 252 on Pascal’s Triangle

Location: 10th row, 5th column

There are 10 toppings. She can choose 5.

*Use your calculator to check your answers.

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