For the next 2 weeks in maths we will be focussing upon patterns.
Developing an awareness of pattern helps us to notice and understand mathematical relationships and provides the foundations for algebraic thinking. It may seem initially that some of these activities are quite simple but the challenge comes more from verbally describing patterns and identifying a unit of repeat.
Patterns can be made with objects like coloured blocks, small toys, buttons and sequins, and with outdoor materials like pine cones, leaves or sticks as well as with movements and sounds, linking with music, dance, phonics and rhymes. Children can also spot and create patterns in a range of other contexts, such as printed patterns, numbers, songs and stories.
Today we will be focussing upon continuing and copying an AB pattern.
The first activity is to complete the AB Patterns sheets from the maths wallet in your home learning pack. There are 2, the first begins with a square and triangle pattern and the other contains 2 lines with coloured dots for the children to continue.
These provide the opportunity for the children to see a pattern, to talk about what they can see, and to continue a pattern. The discussion is key here. Try to get your child to almost read the pattern, for example the first one on the sheet they would say 'square', 'triangle', 'square', 'triangle'.
Once they have done this then see if they can identify the smallest part of the pattern, or the ‘unit of repeat’
You can help to draw child's attention to this when building patterns by picking up a unit at a time, e.g. a blue block and a red block together, and describing this as a ‘red-blue pattern’, rather than a red, blue, red, blue, red, blue pattern.
When they have completed these sheets then their next step is to copy an AB pattern.
They will need to look at each of my patterns below and discuss the nature of the pattern: how has the pattern been made? The patterns may have a range of features such as varying objects, size, colour or orientation. Once your child has identified the unit of repeat then they can copy the pattern using items you have at home.
Of course they will not be able to copy them so that the pattern looks exactly the same, unless you have 3 large and 3 small elephants at home! The focus is only on the unit of repeat. Using the example of the elephants the unit of repeat is 'big, small' so your child may choose to put a big shoe then small shoe etc to copy the pattern.
Please see my 3 patterns below.
The units of repeats are:
Pattern 1: big, small
Pattern 2: down, across
Pattern 3: red, green ... this pattern is really tricky because the items are all different and it is only the colour that repeats!
Let me know how you all get on and if you have any questions about supporting your child with patterns :)