Communicating About Patterns

posted Nov 6, 2012, 3:48 AM by Patrick Johnson
(Our Bansho wall for our patterns. We have just started filling in our criteria for placement on the wall).

Students in Grade 1 and Grade 2 are learning to create one (Gr1) and two (Gr2) attribute patterns and describe them. Students were given the following task:

Create a repeating pattern and circle the pattern core. Describe your pattern in as many ways as you can. 

Afterwards, we sorted the math on our Bansho wall depending on how many ways people described their pattern (1 way-left, 2 ways-center, 3 or more ways-right).
The results of this activity were fascinating. As a whole class, students described patterns in many different ways: 
-Using letters (AB, or AABB etc)
-Told whether it was repeating, growing or shrinking 
-Circled but also described what was in the pattern core (e.g. orange square, black square)
-The attributes that are changing (colour, shape, size, position, direction, number of)
-How the attributes changed (colour: orange, red)
-Describing the pattern using both images and words

Our Bansho wall now has become the hub of patterning communication in our classroom. Grade 1s need to describe their pattern in at least 2 ways and grade 2s need to describe their patterns in at least 3 ways, Students are using the wall as an anchor chart to give them ideas on how to describe their patterns.

Great math class!

P. Johnson