## Thursday, 3 August 2017

### Number Patterns

Having done lots of patterns with shape and colour, I thought it was time to move the attention to number patterns.

I had assumed that the students would know what I meant when I said, "Make a number pattern."

Apparently not.

Or maybe I was the problem - maybe my definition was too narrow and my expectations were based on my own previous experience and knowledge.

Anyway, here is what they produced:

So - we have a pattern of numbers being repeated. There were lots that looked like this. We could substitute the numbers for a colour or a shape and we would be back to where we were with our Unifix and Cuisinaire patterns.

Yes - it is a pattern.

No - it is not what I was expecting.

But wait, there's more...

Ok - so I can see counting by 2, 3 and 10. This is what I had anticipated. Obviously these students will win at the game of "Guess what the teacher is thinking".

And some more sophisticated variations on these patterns:

Counting by 7s

Counting by 10 but off the decade

As I circulated and chatted, I came across one student who was mucking around with some rulers. Fortunately, I refrained from intervening - I was about to tell him to put them away.

As I was about to move on, he laid down the rulers:

"Look at that!" he said. "There is a pattern that goes 2, 7, 2, 7 down the middle ruler. And the diagonal rulers are all the even numbers."

Very true - a nice observation.

Note to self: Do not interrupt. Give the students space to play and experiment. They will observe things that will surprise you.