Math Access for Teachers and Home Child Care Providers

Vehicle Patterning

Using vehicle counter, children will recreate existing patterns and find the unknown within a pattern.

Content Area Standard Target
• Number and Operations
• Algebra
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationship among numbers, and number systems
• Understand patterns, relations, and functions
• Count with understanding and recognize “how many” in sets of objects
• Sort, classify, and order objects by size, number, and other properties
• Recognize, describe, and extend patterns such as sequences of sounds and shapes or simple numeric patterns and translate from one representation to another
• Analyze how both repeating and growing patterns are generated
Obtain the Materials

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

Introduce the Activity

1. Explain to the children that today, you are going to look at patterns.  Ask: “What is a pattern?”  “What can you use to make a pattern?”  “Do you see any patterns around you?” “How can you tell if something is a pattern?”
2. Show the children the vehicle counters.  Hold up each of the 6 counters and describe it by color and vehicle.  “This is an orange car.  This is the blue train…..”
3. Place several of the vehicles into a pattern.  Get the children to recognize the pattern.  Give the children the definition of what a pattern is: Something that repeats more than once. Ask: "Can you find the pattern?"  "What is your pattern?"
4. After you have established what a pattern is and the children recognize the pattern, take out 1 of the vehicles and ask, “What colored vehicle am I missing from my pattern?
5. Create another repeating pattern.  Once the children have established the pattern, take 2 different vehicles out of the pattern.  Ask: “What vehicles are missing from my pattern?”

Engage the Children

1. Hand out the completed Pattern Cards and the vehicle counters.  Have the children recreate the patterns on the cards.  Once they are done with one card, have them swap cards with a friend.
2. Once they have gotten used to recreating the patterns on the Pattern Cards, give them the Pattern Cards that have some of the vehicles missing in the patterns.  Have them recreate the patterns and plug in the missing vehicles into the pattern.

• To reinforce the pattern, have the children draw the pattern on a separate piece of paper.  They can draw the different colored vehicles and label them or they can just adhere to the color pattern.
• Have the children create their own Pattern Cards to be used by other children in the class.  Allow a time where the children can come together and share their patterns.  If they are really pattern savvy, have them create Pattern Cards that are missing one or two vehicles within the repeating pattern.

Encourage Vocabulary

• Pattern – A repeated design or reoccurring sequence (e.g., "The pattern on the card is 1 orange car, 1 blue train….")

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Supporting Children at Different Levels

Toddlers   Pre-K

Toddlers may:

• Be having difficulty identifying the two aspects of the pattern (color & vehicle).

Pre-K Children may:

• Recognize the patterns easily.

Home child care providers may:

• Concentrate on just one aspect of the pattern.  Have the children recognize and recreate the color pattern. After patterning with colors, move onto recognizing and recreating the pattern of the vehicles.

Home child care providers may:

• To reinforce the pattern, have the children draw the pattern on a separate piece of paper.  They can draw the different colored vehicles and label them or they can just adhere to the color pattern.
• Have the children create their own Pattern Cards to be used by other children in the class.  Allow a time where the children can come together and share their patterns.  If they are really pattern savvy, have them create Pattern Cards that are missing one or two vehicles within the repeating pattern.

Books

• Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris (Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Pub Group, 2007)
• Pattern (Math Counts) by Henry Arthur Pluckrose (New York: Childrens Pr; Reissue edition, 1995)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

• There are so many different, easy activities that you can outdoors that reinforce patterning skills;  You can look for pattern on leaves or other items in nature; explore patterns in wallpaper or other objects around the school, home or play yard; or find patterns in the United States Flag.  You can have the children create their own patterns in bead or block construction; color every 2nd or 5th day on a calendar in school; or create patterns using sponge printing, collage materials, gift wrap or wall paper samples.  So many possibilities!

Web Resources

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