8  16  24  32  a  
35  55  75  95  b  
29  58  116  232  c  
3  9  27  81  d  
10  9  60  90  e 
Hint: Scroll down this page to see the extension activity (Extension 2) for help with the fifth sequence above.
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Can you also find a general rule for predicting the nth term of the sequences?
n^{th} term
Note to teacher: Doing this activity once with a class helps students develop strategies. It is only when they do this activity a second time that they will have the opportunity to practise those strategies. That is when the learning is consolidated. Click the button above to regenerate another version of this starter from random numbers.
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Have you read Craig's book yet?Craig Barton must surely be the voice of Mathematics teachers in the UK. His wonderful podcasts interviewing the industry experts have culminated in this wonderful book. As Craig says: "I genuinely believe I have never taught mathematics better, and my students have never learned more. I just wish I had known all of this twelve years ago..." more... "How I wish I’d taught maths' is an extraordinary and important book. Part guide to research, part memoir, part survival handbook, it’s a wonderfully accessible guide to the latest research on teaching mathematics, presented in a disarmingly honest and readable way. I know of no other book that presents as much usable research evidence on the dos and don’ts of mathematics teaching in such a clear and practical way. No matter how long you have been doing it, if you teach mathematics—from primary school to university—this book is for you." Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment, UCL. 
Casio Classwiz CalculatorThere is currently a lot of talk about this new calculator being the best in its price range for use in the Maths classroom. The new ClassWiz features a highresolution display making it easier to view numerical formulas and symbols but it isn't a graphical calculator as such (it has the capacity to draw graphs on your smart phone or tablet, via a scannable QR code and an app). As well as basic spreadsheet mode and an equation solving feature you also get the ability to solve quadratic, cubic or quartic polynomial inequalities and the answer is given just as it should be written down, using the correct inequality symbols! This calculator has a highperformance processor and twice the memory of previous models ensuring speedy operation and superior computational power.more... 
Teacher, do your students have
access to computers? 

Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to sequences of patterns made with matchsticks.
There is an old tradition of using logic puzzles to test job candidates at interview. Here is the version of part (e) above that is said to be asked of Google job candidates:
Count the number of letters in the words of the numbers in the sequence.
The numbers are the largest numbers that can be spelled in a given number of letters.
Some say 96 but others have said 'one googol' or even 'ten googol'! More information about this question can be found in the excellent book 'Are you smart enough to work at Google?' by William Poundstone."