Mathematics is a large part of our daily routine, and making it engaging is a must! The students recently started a new math unit on Patterning. The students are expected to create and extend repeating patterns involving one attribute. This expectation led us to a class discussion on what attributes are. Some students did not know what the word meant, yet when further explained many said, “Ohhhh, I knew that” and proceeded to give examples to add to our anchor chart.
Patterns are exciting for children to explore because they are everywhere. When given some classroom supplies such as rocks, shells, blocks, and counters the children all created some great patterns and were excited to show them to their peers. They created different patterns over and over again. While they presented their patterns to me they explained the pattern rule and showed me what the core of the pattern was.
The highlight for the students so far was going on a nature walk and collecting fallen leaves to use in a pattern of their own. They decided on what kind of a pattern they were planning to create before they were taken outside. Some collected leaves based on their colours, while others were searching for leaves of different sizes. Watching them explore and run outside looking for the perfect leaves was a beautiful sight and will be a special memory for the remainder of the year.
Bringing their findings back into school and laying them out was interesting to observe. Some students changed their patterns, while other stuck to their original plan.
Students love to learn new things. They thrive when information and activities are presented to them in exciting ways. Educators and parents should always be willing to trying new approaches and give children different opportunities to achieve their learning goals.