Monday, 24 November 2014

Patterns, Patterns, Everywhere!

The Full-Day Early Learning- Kindergarten Program states that EL-K teams should "introduce mathematical concepts in carefully planned hands-on activities at various learning centres in the classroom and provide children with opportunities to explore mathematical concepts and strategies in a wide variety of ways (pg. 93)." In addition, "children should be provided with ready access to a wide range of concrete materials such as found objects, so that they can develop beginning understanding of how to use various materials to explore mathematical concepts (pg. 94)." 

In order to see what the students already knew about patterns, a provocation was set up with the question, "Can you create a pattern?"

AAB Pattern: green, green, red

AB Pattern: orange, green

AB Patterns

We accessed prior knowledge during a Knowledge Building Circle by asking the question, 
"What is a pattern?"

We read books during our read-alouds to deepen the students understanding of patterns. "Reading books aloud and in shared reading contexts provides real links between literature and mathematical ideas, since some stories use mathematical terminology and/or contain illustrations of mathematical concepts (FD-ELK, pg. 93)."

Students explored different patterns during math exploration, small group, and whole group lessons. 

ABB Pattern using small and big corks

AB Pattern using links

ABB Pattern using coloured buttons

ABB Pattern using pattern blocks

Students also chose to draw and write about their patterns during their work on daily writing.

AB Pattern: star, heart

AB Pattern: blue, red

AB Pattern: blue, red

We worked with the students to help extend their learning and understanding by having them reflect on the patterns they created by asking them to "tell me about your pattern" and "what comes next?" Reflecting is one of the seven mathematical processes for early learners where they "demonstrate that they are reflecting on and monitoring their thinking to help clarify their understanding as they complete an investigation (FD-ELK, pg. 95)."

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