A lot of mathematic observations can be made by looking at the patterns numbers make. Using graph paper with different size blocks, have your students color according to number patterns. First have them build the patterns using Unifix cubes. For example, the number two would have two colors in an A-B-A-B pattern. Have them then pick one of the colors and trace the patterns they make in the blocks with a black marker.
Notice how James would color each block of the pattern in order, Sam would get the pattern and color whole sections, one color at at time and that Alex would color one color at a time.
They can then transfer those patterns to other materials.
Here they are using toothpicks in groups of four.
This makes an easy bridge to the patterns of multiplication.
Multiplication seems less scary and foreign if it is considered as patterns because patterns are familiar even to a young child.
|And for Living Math, this is a great book to go with a study of patterns.|