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NUMBER PATTERNS

Playing with Numbers!


Investigating Linear Number
Patterns
Finding the General Term of
Linear Number Patterns
Fun Number Patterns
Special Number Patterns
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INVESTIGATING LINEAR NUMBER
PATTERNS
E.g. 7; 9; 11; 13; 15;

The first term ( ) is 7.
The second term ( ) is 9.
The third term ( ) is 11.
And so on until the nth term ( )
The pattern is formed by adding 2 to each new term.
We say that the constant difference (d) between the
terms is 2.

1
T
2
T
3
T
T
n
vs n
Completing the Number Pattern
Toothpick Houses Number Pattern Problem
Tn
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Making conjectures
A conjecture is a mathematical statement
which has evidence to support it.

The conjecture in words can be stated as
follows:
Term you want = first term + (term number minus 1)
x the number you add to get the next term.

In mathematical language, the conjecture or
general formula can be written as:
3 + (n-1)2

n
T
5 2
2 2 7


n T
n T
n
n
3
Note: The coefficient of n in the
general term represents
the constant difference of the
number pattern.
This conjecture or formula (nth term)
can be used to calculate any term.
For example, the 100 term can be
calculated as follows:
5 ) 100 ( 2
100
T
5 2 n T
n
Determine the Number Pattern with the Number Cruncher
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FINDING THE GENERAL TERM
OF A LINEAR NUMBER PATTERN
E.g. a) 7; 9; 11; 13; 15;
The constant difference is 2.
In the general term
now substitute a = 2 into the general term:
c dn T
n

2 d
c dn T
n

c n T
n
2

n = Number of terms
d = common difference
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Then in order to get c, use the first term
= 7
1
T
c
c
c
c T
c n T
n





5
2 7
2 7
) 1 ( 2
2
1
5 2 n T
n
is the nth term.
Potato example: Finding the general term
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E.g. b) 4 ; 9 ; l4 ; 19;

Step 1: Determine the constant
difference (d):


The constant difference (d) = 5

Step 2: Now use the first term to
find the value of c.
5 5
9 14 4 9
2 3 1 2


T T T T
c n T
d
n


5
5
4
1
T
1 5
1
5 4
) 1 ( 5
1




n T
c
c
c T
n
7

E.g. c) Chains of squares can be built with
matchsticks as follows:











Matchstick Example: Creating the sequence
So, to determine the general term for calculating the
number of matches in a chain of n squares.

The constant difference is:


3
3 3
7 10 4 7
2 3 1 2



d
T T T T
8

The general term is:





How many matches will be needed to build a
chain of 100 squares?


1 3
1
3 4
3 4
) 1 ( 3
4
3
1
1






n T
c
c
c
c T
T
c n T
n
n
301 1 ) 100 ( 3
100
T
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EXERCISE
Determine the general term for the linear
number patterns (sequences) and find
the value of the term:

(a) l; 3; 5; 7; 9;
(b) 3; 8; 13; 18;..
(c) -9; 0; 9; 18;
(d) 1; 2; ;
th
1523
;
2
1
1
2
1
2
Determining the general formula in the stars!
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FUN NUMBER PATTERNS
E.g. Given the following pattern:





a) Continue the pattern 3 more times
b) Write down the conjecture in words
c) Determine the value of the 10
th
term
4 3 3 4
3 2 2 3
2 1 1 2
1 0 1
2 2
2 2
2 2
2 2




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Exercise
a) Complete the
following table:
Fraction Recurring
decimal
0, 045454545
22
1
22
2
22
3
22
4
22
5
22
6
22
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b) Write down the
conjecture in words.
c) Determine the value
of without using a

calculator.
22
9
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Challenge!
Given the pattern: MATHSMATHSMATHS

What will the 254
th
letter be?
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SPECIAL NUMBER PATTERNS
Fibonacci Sequence
The Golden Ratio
Pascals Triangle
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