During the first week we looked at shapes. Now I’m going to really focus on patterns.

This is how I introduced patterns. As students came into class and gathered onto the rug in a circle, I asked them to take off one or two shoes (if they wanted to) and put their shoes into the middle. I then (without talking) arranged some of the shoes into a repeated pattern line, like tennis shoes/flip flops/tennis shoes/flip flops. Then I asked them to describe the shoes and if they saw a pattern. I was very patient through this, so that they really had time to see and explain. Once they figured it out, I would rearrange the shoes into another pattern. There are a lot of possibilities: colors, shoe laces, stripes, color of soles, etc. This took about 1/2 of our math time (45 minutes total math time).

Then I had at four tables set up with different manipulatives bins for them to make patterns: buttons, blocks, tiles, coins, toy cars, anything they can use. My rules are that they can move to any table if there is a spot (usually 3-4 students to a table). For the rest of the week I would have similar stations, but changing the manipulatives. I would ask students to build and then have a partner at their table see and guess the pattern. I also saw students start a pattern and a partner continuing it.

As you can see most patterns are simple AB. Some are expanding to ABCD, but we will get there.

After we cleaned up, we gathered on the rug and I did a simple clapping pattern, like clap, clap, slap (slap my thighs), and the students joined in. They were so intently looking at me. Then I stood up, continuing the clapping pattern, and told students to follow me, and I escorted them out of the classroom to recess. Day is done! Tomorrow we will continue with more patterns.