There are several facets to mathematical literacy and its teaching. One of the facets requires the ability to reason logically.
My aim in this unit is to develop the skill of logical reasoning through topology using classifying, patterning.
The topics chosen are presented in a way that requires a minimum mathematical background and maturity. It is not assumed that students who use this unit know how to solve even simple equations or that they have much acquaintance with geometric figures.
The unit is intended for 7th, 8th, 9th grade students for 4 weeks, 2 to 3 periods a week, ideally the last weeks of the school year.
The unit is in seven sections. These sections are explored with the help of investigations.
These investigations are an essential part of the unit and are particularly suitable for group work. The value of these investigations lies in the thought which students put into their efforts to seek solutions rather than in any results which may be obtained. A suggestion for’ adding a group which is unable to make a start appears at the end of the comments on each investigation. Several of the investigations offer opportunities for discussing the use of algebra in stating general results.
(figure available in print form)