Math Madness Wednesday: Creating Patterns

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Summer is in FULL swing in our house this week!  My son started his summer Social Academy, I have started teaching my daughter how to use some computer programs she has been wanting to learn, and we spent last weekend hiking in Big Sur.  What a beautiful place!

big sur waterfall
big sur trees


As I was looking at the beautiful nature around me, I started to notice the similarities, differences, and patterns that surrounded me.  I am just in awe of the natural beauty!  My kids and my 2 year old nephew were sharing things with each other, pointing, running, and laughing.  It got me to thinking about patterns myself.  Therefore, this week’s edition of Math Madness Wednesday is going to focus on patterns.

Patterns word


Patterns are an important stepping stone to much more difficult mathematical thinking.  As preschoolers begin to recognize patterns, they are preparing their brains for skip counting and even making predictions.  Parents and teachers can help kids recognize patterns by simply pointing them out.  As your child is putting on shoes, have him/her look for a pattern on the sole of the shoes.  While going on a walk, see if there is a pattern on the sidewalk.  During play time, see if any of the toys are making a pattern.  Patterns are EVERYWHERE!  
After some time noticing patterns, your child can move on to building them herself.  You don’t need anything fancy to build a pattern.  Grab some crayons, toy cars, or even Tupperware lids and have your kids build a pattern.  

Spin-A-Word pile of noodles


If you read my post from earlier this week, you will remember that I have been getting crafty with pool noodles.  I had extra pieces left and those could make fun patterns as well!   (Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for this product!)
 

 

building block pattern pic

 


Building blocks are another great tool to use for this!  Kids cans stack them up high like a tower or lay them out straight to make patterns.  Older kids can design more intricate designs by building patterns on top of patterns.   
 

 

building block patterns picture
Here are a couple of my resources for using LEGO blocks to notice, name, build, and repeat patterns.
In Tower Power, students will get a task card with a picture of a tower they can make using their own LEGO blocks.  It includes a variety of pattern types, like AABB, ABBA, ABAB, and a few that include a 3rd color, like ABCBA or ABBCA.  Black and white towers are included so kids can color in their own patterns.
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This is a sample of what the Tower Power cards look like (don’t worry…my logo is not on the actual versions!).

My newest WILD card game also uses building blocks to create patterns.  Students match the given pattern with the pattern name OR a different card with the same type of pattern.

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Wild card pattern picture 2Wild card pattern picture

Again, your copy of the cards do NOT include my logo, but this is an example of a match that your kids could make while playing this card game.

You can grab BOTH of these items from Educents right now for only $2.99!  My WILD card games usually cost $3 each, so this is a great time to grab both items!

What patterns do you see around your house or classroom?  How do YOU teach patterns?  I would love to hear from you!

 


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