Teaching in the Real World: Patterns

Teaching in the Real World - Patterns

Children explore the world because everything is new.  Without any knowledge or preconceived notions, children take the world for what it is.  As adults, adopting this perspective – viewing the world in wonder – goes a long way to understanding and teaching children.

Anything can be modified or morphed into a learning experience.  For example: patterns.  The easiest way to describe a pattern to a child is by giving examples.  Like, saying blue, red, blue, red and so forth.  Patterns go back and forth, back and forth at least two times.

There are different kinds of patterns and teachers use letters to describe the types.  They are AB, ABC, ABB, AAB, ABCD and so on.  An example of an ABC pattern would be yellow, red, blue, yellow, red, blue…

You should make examples to see if children understand the concept.  Like, get fruit and make red, orange, red, red, orange, purple and ask the child “Is this a pattern?”  Seeing wrong examples reinforces the correct concepts.

Now, don’t stick to just colors.  Anything can be a pattern.  I walked around Pacifica, CA with my camera and snapped pictures of patterns I could find.


Post, space, post, space, post, space…


Rectangle, line, rectangle, line, rectangle, line…

Patterns can be below or above.

When you’re teaching a child a pattern, this is what you can do.  First, point out the pattern and say what it is (“Oh, look a pattern! Wood, line, wood, line, wood line”). Next, encourage the child to repeat the pattern with you.  Finally, see if the child can do it on their own.  Even if they mess up, give them praise for trying (praise encourages children to try again).


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