Start Your Year with a Problem

Here is an interesting visual I found for a problem posted in the Balanced Assessment Project.

Consider how your students might view and understand this repeating pattern. From Kindergarten to Grade 3, how could you use this pattern to develop an understanding of elements, core, repetition.

Given dot paper are they able to reproduce a section of the pattern? All of the pattern?

Are they able to complete the missing section of the pattern?

Are they able to extend the pattern? both forward and backwards?


In the original problem students are asked to work with $25, $100, $200. These are nice mental mathematics numbers for working on fluency in Grades 3 and up. For Grade 3 we might wait until mid year, but for Grade 4 and up this would make a nice  opener to building your approach to problem solving alongside checking on mental fluency with these common sense numbers at the start of the year.


Bricks for Books is the original problem. Download here. Bricks for books

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 2.46.08 PMMy variations, download here, THE BRICK PROBLEM variations to explain why you might use the problem and how. They include a plan for beginning a problem solving rubric with your class.