Kelli Vogstad states on her blog that "researchers say that when children explore and learn about patterns, we help them build important foundations for later number work. Creating, extending, naming, and talking about patterns help build strong mathematicians. " This week we have delved back into patterns to reinforce the order that is found in mathematics. However, patterns are not exclusive to mathematics; they are found all around us. One particular place to look for patterns is in reading. Reading Rockets states, "as your child becomes a reader, he or she will learn to find patterns in letters and words and use this information to read groups of words (for example, sun, fun, bun all contain the '-un' letter pattern or family)." Your students have been learning a variety to patterns in class and we have been focusing on strengthening their ability to recognize patterns and order. When children have a strong sense of patterns, they are able to organize their thinking, which translates into stronger readers, writers, mathematicians, and problem solvers.
Our young scholars worked on a pattern quilt this week in math. I had one student state, "we haven't done any math in 2 days!" I had to remind them that pattern work is indeed math work and gave them another AABAAB pattern to build out of blocks. Their quilt work focused on a few important things: following directions, team work, recognizing patterns and creating them on a larger scale. Stroll down the first grade hallway and check out the quilt pattern your student helped put together!
According to https://nrich.maths.org/, a Cambridge University program, spotting underlying patterns is important for identifying many different kinds of mathematical relationships. It underpins memorization of the counting sequence and understanding number operations, for instance recognizing that if you add numbers in a different order their total stays the same. Pattern awareness has been described as early algebraic thinking, which involves:
I believe that a strong foundation in mathematical and print patterns is imperative for a child's early development. So, I encourage you, parents, to challenge your kids by playing pattern games and looking for patterns in everyday life. It's a fun and educational way to pass the time in the car, that's for sure!
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