Pattern is King!


There is a vast sea of numbers in mathematics, to make sense of them, pupils need an understanding of patterns. Understanding patterns is the basis of all calculations in maths. From early education, children need to be taught patterns, not just for the wonder of discovery, but to make numbers more comprehensible. When pupils understand patterns in maths, their confidence grows and numbers no longer seem beyond understanding. Some examples of basic patterns are

*odds and evens*

*halves and doubles*

*multiples of 5, 10, 11, 9 etc*

How do you embed these? First teach the children what these patterns are. Model how to recognise these numbers. Explain clearly by using several examples. Also, explain why it is important to recognise the patterns. What are even numbers? What are odd numbers? Without trying to divide by 2, how can I tell that 19,458 is an even number? How can I tell that 2,845,667 is an odd number? Give the children single digit cards, for example, 4, 9, 2, 8. Ask the children to use these cards, to make the largest even number, make the smallest even number. Extend by asking, how do you know this is the smallest/largest…? The reason for asking extension questions is to deepen children’s understanding.

Other activities you can do with such numbers are

*write the numbers in order starting from the smallest to the largest.

*double each number

*what do you add to each number to make 10/20/100?

*what is the difference between the smallest and the largest?

*what is the total of all the numbers?


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