The activity of
"sequencing" has many useful applications to mathematics.
Sequencing is the breaking down of a process into a series of steps which
can be arranged in some chronological order. Since mathematics is
such an "organized" language, it is possible to apply this
strategy to many units.
This activity is
simple. Prepare ahead of time a process which has a sequence of
events (such as an Euclidean proof). Write the process on a sheet of
paper leaving enough room between the steps so that the steps may be
easily cut
apart. Cut the steps apart, shuffle the strips of paper, and place
them in an envelope. Students may work alone or in pairs. The
task is to reassemble the sequence in a mathematically correct order
(which may at times be different than the teacher's original answer.)
Here is an example
of a sequence ready to be cut apart:
Put
the problem and the diagram on the board for everyone to see (or put it on
the front of the envelope).
Given:
ABCD
is a parallelogram

Prove:
DEFC is a rectangle 

STATEMENTS REASONS
ABCD is a parallelogram 
Given 

A parallelogram had 2 sets of
parallel sides. 

Given 

Two lines perpendicular to the same
line are parallel. 
DEFC is a
parallelogram 
If both pairs of opposite sides of a
quadrilateral are parallel, the quadrilateral is a parallelogram. 
<DEB is a right angle 
Perpendicular lines meet to form right
angles. 
DEFC is a rectangle 
If one angle of a parallelogram is a
right angle, the parallelogram is a rectangle. 
Ask
students to place the strips back in the envelopes when the
activity is over. You are all set to repeat the activity with
another class.

If you want to
create a more challenging activity,
cut the pieces apart both horizontally
and vertically. 

