There are many opportunities throughout the day for teaching patterns in kindergarten. Children learn to recognize, create, copy and extend patterns through repeated daily activities.
Integrating five-minute patterning activities into your daily schedule is not only fun for children, but also helps them to be aware of patterns in their daily surroundings.
Any sets of shapes, numbers, letters or objects that are repeated over and over again help children learn about patterns.
Before teaching pattern to kindergarten students…
- It will benefit your students to have plenty of experiences sorting and grouping objects before being introduced to kindergarten patterning activities.
- If you think your students need more experiences with sorting and grouping read, Kindergarten Sorting Games.
Why teach pattern in kindergarten?
- Although math standards vary throughout the US and Canada, teaching pattern to kindergarten is included in most lists and is often categorized under the heading of “Algebra”.
The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning say, “Patterns serve as the cornerstone of algebraic thinking.” They have a great article called, Patterns: What Does Algebra in the Early Years Look Like?
Patterning skills – What do students need to know?
Once again skills lists vary depending on where you live, but generally students will work towards being able to:
- create their own patterns at various difficulty levels such as:
red, blue, red, blue…
red, blue, yellow, repeat…
red, red, blue, red, red, blue….
red, blue, yellow, yellow, yellow
- copy patterns that others have made
- extend patterns that others have started
- tell what is missing if part of a pattern is hidden
- compare and talk about patterns that arise from their
- recognize patterns in the environment – e.g. fence posts: short, tall, short, tall…
- use patterns to describe the world around them and
to solve problems
- identify a pattern
Read more about teaching pattern, pattern blocks, 5 minute patterning activities and easy math games…