My first thought about math patterns is the typical preschool pattern activity of shapes, colors, and sizes. But patterns can be so much more complicated.
Think multiples when learning multiplication, tessellations, algebra and calculus functions, Fibonacci sequences, stock market patterns, and musical compositions. Patterns are important in higher mathematics as well as in our daily lives.
Why are studying math patterns important?
1. Studying patterns allows us to see the beauty in God’s amazing creation. See twenty amazing photos of patterns found in nature or watch these amazing videos about patterns and nature.
Arithmetic begins with learning to count by ones, after that, it is a never-ending search for shortcuts to avoid one-by-one counting. ~ Robert Wirtz
Carl Friedrich Gauss was a brilliant mathematician. Possibly the most famous story about him was from his childhood. His teacher asked the class to add all the numbers from 1 to 100. Eight-year-old Carl took only a few moments to write down the answer of 5050. His teacher was amazed and asked how he added all of the numbers that fast. Carl’s reply was that he didn’t add the numbers, he saw the pattern. The first and last numbers added to 101 (1 + 100 = 101) and this pattern repeated (2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101, and so on to 50 + 51 = 101). Therefore, the answer would be 50 multiplied by 101.
3. There are even more reasons to study math patterns such as making educated guesses, understanding higher level mathematics concepts, and forming the basis of music. You can read more about these reasons to study patterns.
Games and Activities to Study Math Patterns
- Match It
- Math Activities with Linking Cubes
- Number sequences
- Optical illusions
- Pattern blocks
- Pop-up cards
- Snowflake cut-outs
Find more math manipulative and game suggestions in the math manipulative post series.
This post has been linked to the Massive Guide to Homeschooling Math