Click on the link below for a sample lesson on
Listen really carefully to the language the teacher uses to describe the task: “Look at this kind of pattern and see if you can tell me what happens next.”
The child in the video is a bit older so he can visualize and tell the teacher what would come next as the pattern grows. Young children can show what comes next but having them share their thinking first is really important to internalization of math concepts.
Notice the space between the cubes and that they are all one color.
Patterns cut across all the other areas of mathematics. When we look for and identify patterns we can begin to predict results and actually train our minds to make sense of seemingly unrelated information in our world. Our number system is based on patterns (think counting by twos or fives, or our base ten system). But patterns also represent a predictable, repetitive, organizational structure. It is important to surround children with a range of patterns so that they do not simply see a pattern as an ABABAB configuration. Searching for patterns in the environment, artwork, and creating and reading the pattern in children’s designs and structures helps children to generalize the idea of patterns into many realms.