Patterns a Different Point of View

byLuis Magallanes

Being able to combine music and dancing in combination with the application of math concepts entices me to create a unit that would engage all students in my math classes. This unique way to present math, opens up a door for a different and innovating style of teaching mathematics. Math will not be any more a "secret" knowledge that only some students can access. Math will be accessible by all means to anybody that would try to learn. That is the intent of this curriculum unit; to provide a friendly environment for all students.

The relationship between staff in music and a coordinate system in Algebra and in Trigonometry provides the perfect field in which, we can describe geometric translations for music and for Algebra. Translations in music are called transposition and time delay, while in math they are called vertical and horizontal translations.

The unit also provides information on how to work with reflections over the lines y = x and y = x and their use in graphing inverse functions. Reflections and rotations, and the symmetries of the square, are as well described as patterns used for dancing. All of these ideas will help to get students interested in math.

(Developed for Algebra II and Trigonometry, grades 10-12; recommended for Algebra II, grades 9-12, and Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus, grades 10-12)

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