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Number Spirals

Interesting Investigation

Number Spirals

This is a thoroughly engaging activity for students of all ability levels. Whether your students are early years primary or high achievers at KS 4 your students are sure to enjoy this unusual activity.
At one level it may be just be about spatial awareness and getting students to draw the spirals, at a higher level it may be that a student can give an explanation of why some number spirals are closed and others open (perhaps describing their answer using some simple algebra).

Why is the order 3 spiral with numbers 1,2,4 closed?
Why is the order 4 spiral with number 1,3,3,1 open?
Why does the order 3 spiral 3,4,10 produce a WINDMILL PATTERN? What is its perimeter and what is the area of each of its SAILS?. Why do some windmills have a hole in them and not others?
What sort of symmetry does the order 5 spiral with numbers 2,3,2,3,5? What about the order 6 spiral 2,3,4,5,6,6?

These are just some of the many questions that will arise from this interesting activity.
Slide 2 gives complete teacher guidance and slide 3 offers students a selection of “starting spirals” in the form of a table to get them started if needed (printable worksheet).
Slide 4 gives an animated demo on how to draw the spirals, by automatically drawing some order 3/4/5 spirals. Whilst this is primarily an open-ended investigation/activity, ---“Investigate Number Spirals”---, slide 5 offers a possible investigation with a list of activities for those that would like a little more structure. Slide 6 gives a crib so that students that want to, can encode and draw their own NAME SPIRAL. Spirals for the names Ben, and Alice are drawn. Slides 7 to 14 show numerous spirals from order 2 to order 9. All 32 of the spirals listed in the table on the teacher guidance slide are available for viewing within the presentation. Slide 15 is a printable square spotty paper slide should you with to use it or alternatively you can draw on it whilst projected onto the Whiteboard.
Be prepared for lots of happy, smiling faces!!

Slides Animation Sound Worksheets Rating
15 y n y rating


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