Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level:
Exploring numbers in sequences and patterns can prove to be a very
useful way of engaging pupils in mathematics for a valuable length
of time. It can teach pupils about perseverance and enable them to
reinforce some mathematical ideas, skills and concepts at the same
Because there is so much in the first big table [showing lines 1 to
30 as digital roots], it may be necessary to present just a small
part of it to younger pupils. Perhaps take 5 or 6 of them and go to
27 numbers in length. There are so many opportunities for spotting
addition and subtraction, as well as different kinds of patterning.
Older pupils will be able to look at the table as a whole and as
well as what the younger pupils do they may be interested in the
overall arrays of numbers, particularly the number 9!
The "starting points for further extensions" section can be a good
tool to help to bring some newer skills into play when doing a
maths investigation. Using a spreadsheet will obviously make some
aspects clearer and easier as well as opening up even more
possibilities. These explorations are also a good tool to use when
helping the pupils discover more about the use of a
I feel I MUST emphasise the question for more experienced pupils as
to WHY certain patterns occur. Sometimes when exploring digital
roots with the older pupils some answers to "WHY?" come from
realising thet they are working in mod 9 and working in other mods
will make some things easier to explore.