Mathematics Foundation: 2 - Computation and Algebraic Thinking

Topic: M2.2 - Demonstrate awareness of patterning

Patterns help children learn sequencing and to make predictions which leads to mathematical skills, logic structure in algebra, and to establishing order in life. Understanding patterns provides the basis for understanding algebra. This is because a major component of solving algebra problems involves data analysis which is deeply related to the understanding of patterns.

Developing patterning skills leads to the ability to:
*Recognize daily routines
*Show interest in visual, auditory, and tactile patterns
*Recognize patterns in the natural environment
*Create and extend patterns
*Understand sequence of events
*Make predictions

Looking Ahead to Kindergarten Family Engagement Special Populations
In kindergarten, students will create, extend, and give rules for simple repeating and growing patterns and shapes (N.CA.5). Encourage families to:

*Notice and point out patterns they see everyday (e.g. adult creates a pattern with crackers and pretzels at snack time. The child can recreate the pattern or create their own.).
*Help the child find the patterns in their homes (e.g. bathroom floor tile, the pattern in their backyard gate, or the pattern in a picture frame on a wall).
*Use various materials in their homes to create and demonstrate patterning.

Educators can:

*Point to numerals as they’re counting as rote counting is a common pattern children hear.
*For DLL, read books that have a familiar pattern or repetition (in native language, if possible).

Powerful Practices
Across all developmental stages, educators can:

*Explain daily schedule/routines, follow consistently, and ask children to predict/recall what comes next (e.g. consider hanging a picture schedule).
*Clap along to the beat of music or create a sound pattern with rhythm instruments (e.g. BANG, tap, tap, BANG, tap, tap).
*Create a pattern with movements or actions (e.g. “Let’s make a pattern with how we move. Jump. Step. Jump. Step.”).
*Point out patterns in the environment (e.g. “Look, you have on stripes today! Red, blue, red, blue.”).
*Create a pattern with materials that children can add on to.
*Point out patterns children have noticed while at school to their families.


Talk with infant during and about daily routines and prepare them before a routine or transition (e.g. “I am going to change your diaper next.”)

Provide materials to engage infant’s senses (e.g. textured blankets for use during tummy time, textured balls, black and white patterns)

Younger Toddler
Sing songs that have a steady beat or songs that give instructions to clap/stomp

Provide musical instruments children can play along to the beat of the music

Older Toddler
Establish, maintain, and talk about your daily routines

Give opportunities for children to predict what happens next (e.g. “What do we do after lunch?”)

Provide materials that encourage creating patterns (e.g. sorting animals, colored blocks, and pattern cards)

While child plays with patterning materials, ask child “What comes next?” within an ABAB pattern (e.g. red block, blue block, red block, blue block, etc.)

Younger Preschool
Provide multi-step directions and support child’s completion of tasks

Ask predictive questions about what comes next in the daily routine

Model and provide materials for patterning of various attributes including size, shape, and color (e.g. when walking in a line, arrange the children into a pattern and point it out)

Older Preschool
Provide multi-step directions

Initiate conversation about a pattern the child created

Model and provide materials for patterning of various attributes including size, shape, and color (e.g. when walking in a line, arrange the children into a pattern and point it out)

Provide materials and opportunities for children to create the same pattern out of different materials (e.g. educator creates red, blue, red, blue pattern with blocks and asks child to recreate with other objects)