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Investigating Linear Number

Patterns

Finding the General Term of

Linear Number Patterns

Fun Number Patterns

Special Number Patterns

1

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

2

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

9

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!

10

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

11

Exercise

a) Complete the

following table:

Fraction Recurring

decimal

0, 045454545

22

1

22

2

22

3

22

4

22

5

22

6

22

7

b) Write down the

conjecture in words.

c) Determine the value

of without using a

calculator.

22

9

12

Challenge!

Given the pattern: MATHSMATHSMATHS

What will the 254

th

letter be?

13

SPECIAL NUMBER PATTERNS

Fibonacci Sequence

The Golden Ratio

Pascals Triangle

14

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