Author: Cassandra Lowry
A great way to help children to begin looking at number patterns is through the use of a counting chart. Encourage children to use counters to create a simple repeating pattern like blue, blue red, blue, blue red, etc. and place these counters on the chart.
Removing the red counters will then reveal the threes skip counting pattern (or multiples of 3). The rule of this pattern can be described as + 3. This is also known as the unit of repeat.
This pattern can then be recorded by children using numbers. Initially, encourage children to record the pattern vertically to help them identify any patterns within the sequence. These patterns can be used to help predict future terms.
Children can then record the pattern horizontally using commas to separate each term. For example:
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, etc
When introducing patterns to children it is important to remember to include patterns that are counting backwards and patterns that may not begin at zero, for example, starting a pattern with 3-digit numbers such as 102, 105, 108, 111, etc. This can help students to recognise that number patterns can be extended indefinitely in both directions along the number sequence.
List of Resources:
- Number Trails
- Pass the Count
- See and Say
- 1-120 Counting Chart
- AAMT Top Drawer Teachers – Number Sequences
This activity covers the following Australian Curriculum – Mathematics Content: