Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Mathematics at the Concept Level Beginning with Rhythmic Patterns

Children develop an understanding of mathematical language as they explore number patterns under ten in the context of real events and/or concrete materials.
Children demonstrate their understanding at this level by:
- building concrete models with a variety of manipulatives.
- describing what they have created using mathematical language.
The first math games will be concentrating on this level.

A great exercise in patterns is to have students reproduce rhythmic patterns and to translate those patterns into symbols. A line can mean a clap and a dot can mean a tap on the table. Have each student make up their own rhythmic patterns and write them on a dry-erase board so that all can follow them. Then all tap and clap out the pattern. Children really enjoy coming up with their own patterns.

Continuing with the tap/clap patterns, introduce the "Dot chart." Put a row of dots on a whiteboard and have students take turns creating patterns around the dots. Then have them make up rules for which are tap and clap. They can then tap and clap these patterns.

To have them further practice translating the pattern to a different form, have them take those patterns and transfer them to two colors of Unifix cubes, one color being a tap and the other a clap.

source: Mathematics Their Way, Mary Baratta-Lorton


  1. This is so wonderful! Music has so many patterns. I'm not a musical person but I can do this! I can't wait to try it with JC. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. It's funny, we played a similar game in college, learning rhythm, and tempo, in a music and art of the western world class :)


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