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Math Activities with Patterns

By Kathy Foust

Give your students some freedom of expression by using these math activities with patterns to help them practice their pattern identifying and pattern making skills. Have some fun with these activities and use them to get set up for the holidays.

Fun with Patterns

When students start working with patterns, they may soon get bored with doing worksheets on patterns. That's one reason math activities with patterns are so important. Students can practice their skills in a different format. We all know that doing is learning, so let's get started!

Historical Math Patterns

Bring some history to your math patterns! Talk with students about how quilts were used to send messages in the underground railroad. Once students understand the concept of patterns in quilts, ask them to make a pattern of their own with a message in the middle!

Patterns to Represent

Most students enjoy talking about the things they like. Give each student 2 pieces of construction paper and ask them to think of three symbols that represent them and what they like. Ask the students to draw and cut those symbols out of a piece of construction paper. Students should then glue their symbols in a repeated pattern on the second piece of construction paper. Hang these sheets up around the room and use them to keep track of the students' progress by putting a star on a symbol of their pattern every time they get an "A" on a math paper or test.

Wearable Patterns

Ask students to get together in groups of three. Give each student some different colored clay. Ask students to make beads by rolling different colored clays together to form a "log" and cutting slice off the log. Students will then put a pencil tip or toothpick through the middle of the slices to make a hole in the "bead". Once the beads dry, give the groups of children 3 pieces of string. Ask them to each make a necklace or bracelet using the beads that the three of them made. The catch is that every bracelet or necklace at the table has to have a different pattern and they must us only the beads within their group.

Talk with students about these math activities for patterns to see what they think of them. Ask their opinions so that you can modify your lesson plans in ways that the children will enjoy and learn from.

Read More about Patterns at Bright Hub

Patterns in Math (Kindergarten/First Grade Level)

Pattern Snakes (PreKindergarten or Kindergarten Level)