Working with the Definitions of Linear Patterns

Standard

Non-traditional Linear Pattern

Formal Definition:  Not in a straight line.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nonlinear

Linear Pattern

Kid Friendly Definition:  A linear pattern repeats itself over and over again and forms a straight line when plotted on a graph.

Formal Definition:  When a pattern in a number sequence is added or subtracted by the same number every time.  http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_definition_of_a_linear_pattern

Comparison:  The formal definition may be clearer on how a pattern repeats but fails to mention the number sequence will form a straight line when plotted on a graph.

How to help student learn the definition: To help students remember the definition I would ask them identify the root word for linear which is “line”.  Having students complete a few sample questions and then come up with patterns on their own will help the student develop there own sense of the definition.

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