What are patterns?

When we speak of patterns in early mathematical concepts we are really focusing on a few key ideas. Patterns to our students consist of 1) Repeated design or recurring sequence 2) ordered set of numbers, shapes, or other mathematical objects, arranged according to a rule.[1]

An Example of a pattern:

▯▲▯▲ ___

Obviously as adults we know the white rectangle will come next in the pattern.

Why are patterns so important to my students?

As we develop cognitively we are able to complete more difficult patterns. Students, must have practice with various patterns to understand them, and to use this skill for higher order math and thinking skills. It is important for students to extend patterns and also be able to identify patterns themselves.

Searching for visual patterns can be as simple as identifying the change from one item in a sequence to the next. Some possible changes to look for include

  • changes in color
  • rotation
  • vertical or horizontal translation
  • Changes in shape
  • changes in size.

These are also the types of “changes” we often teach in early mathematics.

„the ability to trouble-shoot, problem-solve and spot issues and resolve them very well, broadly conceived as pattern recognition, is a key ability or capability to cultivate in doing anything well.“ Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

It’s Fun to Practice with Patterns

Math doesn’t have to be boring and difficult! Set students up for success in future problem solving by employing pattern practice in a many ways. We’ve created great games to foster pattern recognition. Our games are customizable! You use the images you want! Working on colors? Pick your pattern! Or how about a science unit! Just customize your patterns! It funny and your students will love it!

pattern recognition game

[1] https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/pattern-recognition-a-key-to-success-in-doing-anything-well/