The Art of Patterns

In mathematics, Room 16 have been learning about patterns and repeated patterns. This term, we took it a step further by integrated the learning into literacy and movement. As part of their weekly poem activities, students identified a repeated pattern and used it in their caterpillar colouring to make it more appealing. 

As part of our Summer Festival of Movement, students repeated up to three sequences as part of their dance. It's been fascinating to hear the students' ideas about how some of these patterns might look. This also encouraged peer conversations. 

I have used a repeated pattern to colour in my caterpillar - Phenix.

My caterpillar has a repeated pattern with different greens - Cooper.  

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Pet day sand saucers provided another opportunity for Room 16 to integrate repeated patterns. The sand saucer success criteria included creating a repeated pattern with flowers of the same colour and/or shape and to have a focal point in the middle. In class, we practised how this might look on something other than a straight line.  Students enjoyed the challenge of making these patterns. 

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Room 16 students worked with their peers to share their patterns and discuss why they were patterns and whether or not they repeated. Students have made connections to other learning areas when they see a repeated pattern. 

We held an exploration session using materials to create our own patterns, whether repeated or not.. Observing this learning and asking questions such as, "What pattern have you created?" or "How detailed is your pattern?" Students were required to explain their patterns and write the sequence, regardless of whether it was; Blue, Black, Yellow, Blue, Black, Yellow, Blue, Black, Yellow, or Red, Green, Red, Green, Red, Green, Red, Green. 

My pattern goes small, medium, big, small, medium, big with the teddybears.

I have made a growing pattern see: purple, green, purple, purple, green, green, purple, purple, purple, green, green, green. 

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When learning is integrated, it provides multiple opportunities for students to make links across curriculum areas. Our repeated pattern activities were a great way for students to discover patterns using a number of different contexts.  In the process, oral language improved and student understanding of what a repeated pattern grew. 

Keywords: patterns, repeated patterns, sequential 

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