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Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday thoughts - Patterns, kids and the world around us

Mmmm fabric...

I love it! I obviously use lots of solid coloured fabric to make up various designs and products. I also use fabric that have patterns that catch my eye. Often the main colours in a chosen fabric become my colour scheme.

Patterns are everywhere and are the basis of art, numeracy and you could even argue literacy, with rhyme in poems. Grasping the concept of simple patterns enables the understanding of more complex patterns and concepts.

 Lisette Printed Cotton Poplin, featured on Spotlights' blog - The Warped and the Weft

I have been working on patterning with the children that I work with this week. We began by looking at patterns on sea creatures (amazing coloured fish) and what was happening to the colours ('taking turns'). The children were presented with a vast array of simple materials (counters, pegs, popsticks, etc) to create their own patterns. Often we would stop and have a look at the patterns that we all made, learning from others. We incorporated art into our patterns by sponge printing patterns.We focused on colour patterns and shape patterns. We made some more complex patterns (eg. pink, pink, pink, blue, pink, pink, pink, blue). Simple patterns could also lead into number patterns - counting by two, counting by five, counting by 10, etc).

Creating opportunities for teaching the concept of patterning to children is quite easy. Highlight and point out patterns in the environment - around the house, in books (pictures of animals that have patterned fur, etc). Use objects around the house to create patterns - use buttons, straws, paper, lollies/vegetable pieces, cutlery, toys, lego...the list is endless. Start with simple patterns ('turn taking') and build up to more complex patterns. Incorporate patterning into play - Play 'guess my pattern' games or 'copy my pattern' or 'continue my pattern' games. For more older children, print out a number grid (1-100) and use it to highlight number patterns - colour in every second number or every third number - what numbers are highlighted. We use patterning in so many ways, often without knowing.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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