Pattern is less a topic of mathematics than a defining quality of mathematics itself. Mathematics “makes sense” because its patterns allow us to generalize our understanding from one situation to another. Children who expect mathematics to “make sense” look for patterns. Children need many opportunities to discover and talk about patterns in mathematics. These experiences help them form the attitude and confidence that mathematics should make sense, the crucial foundation all children need to become persistent and flexible problem solvers. © Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative. Reprinted from Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know (2014), Pearson Education.
August 18, 2021
For over 50 years, millions of children have returned again and again to the books illustrated and written by Eric Carle. Kids can’t get enough of his colorful collages, animal characters, and rhythmic texts.
Cooking with kids is a natural way to do math together. But we're not talking about turning meal preparation into a formal math lesson. Cooking together presents an opportunity that is more about noticing and wondering rather than teaching.
Cumulative tales and rhymes illustrate growing patterns, typically an increase or decrease by one on each page. As the growing pattern is revealed through the story, children get excited because they can figure out "what comes next."
From an early age, children notice and appreciate patterns in the world around them. Patterns and sequences of different kinds begin to pop up all over the place, especially in the books that children love.
A child is pushed to decipher the repeating pattern in an array of blocks. Then he attempts to continue the pattern.
This second grader demonstrates an interesting choice for a mathematical model by graphing.
A new book, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain, explains the importance of regularly talking with children ages 0-3—the time during which the brain develops most rapidly. Ensuring that these conversations take place will help children progress with their language, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
Reading a "touch-and-feel" book or singing an action song with a baby or toddler is setting the groundwork for mathematical thinking and future school success. That's the point of Math All Around Me (MAAM), a joint program between Erikson Institute Early Math Collaborative and The Ounce of Prevention Fund, established to study the math capabilities of children ages 0-3.
A Chicago-area teacher's intentional teaching and efforts to differentiate for students of varying ability and confidence resulted in a rich math lesson. Based on Audrey Wood's classic book The Napping House, students created their own books with the details and content unique to themselves.