Patterning Recognition and Creation
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Patterns are all around us, from the clothing we wear to the repeating patterns found in nature and everyday routines. Patterning is also a basic math skill upon which many mathematical concepts are based. Times tables, addition and skip counting all require an understanding of and proficiency in patterning. In preschool, identifying and creating patterns is just the beginning of the mastery of life-long mathematical skills.
So how do we introduce patterning to our children at O'Hana and give them a head start in mathematical thinking? Very young children find patterns from looking around and noticing so with our young groups is to provide an environment rich with patterns. This means children are constantly exposed to patterns, they use these observations to solve puzzles, to build with construction equipment or to design their artistic expression.
We apply a more structured approach for children who are able to describe patterns (mostly for our Adventurer and Preschool groups as patterns is an underlying theme in our math experiences in these groups).
The ability to recognize, identify and create patterns not only supports learning in math but it also contributes to broader social development. Through an understanding of patterns, children are able to make predictions about what comes next. Just as a child can predict that a red bead will come next after seeing a string with a red bead, blue bead, green bead, red bead, blue bead, green bead pattern, a child will be able to make accurate predictions about other things or events that occur with regularity. For example, predicting what comes next after eating lunch (cleaning up) or after taking a bath (putting on clean clothes) will help a child manoeuvre more confidently in his environment.