I asked the children to think about the many other figures that might be created in this pattern. The children wondered what the 100th figure would look like. We decided to set this up as a math exploration for the children today. We provided photos of our previous work, the chart paper reference page, mini wooden blocks, and writing materials.
The children started by building the original figures in the problem. They realized that it was more effective to build the figure flat because building upwards wasn't reliable. The figures would easily tip.
One child immediately went to work on building the 100th figure. She understood the pattern (the 100th figure would have a base and edge each of 100) so she set to work.
This task required great patience and perseverance because the blocks are small and move easily. Putting them back in a straight line and counting and recounting to ensure that there were 100 took great commitment.
Other children became curious and stopped by. "Is the base longer than you?" he asked and we measured to find out.
Once the base was completed the left edge was started. Again, counting out 100 blocks and lining them up in a straight edge was a complicated task and it required great patience and persistence with the task.
She did it! Yeah! This is what the 100th figure's base and edge would look like! Now onto filling it in. Would we have enough blocks?
Another child thought that drawing the figure on a paper would be a better idea because he didn't think we had enough blocks to fill it in. He began, carefully counting out 100 squares to represent the base...
...and learned his paper wasn't big enough. He problem-solved by taping the papers together...
Once the base and edge were counted out and drawn, we decided to draw the other outside edge. Because we used chart paper and lined the papers up when taping them together, we didn't feel we needed to draw each individual block inside the figure.
Other friends stopped by to watch the work unfolding and to double and triple check to ensure we had 100 squares in our base and 100 in our edge.