Patterns or "Similarity"
What are "Patterns"? - Patterns are repeated
cycles or similar relationships. The concept that children
should grasp in Kindergarten is that objects have "similarities" such as
matched socks, colors, or artistic patterns (stripes, checks, etc.).
Why do Kindergartners need to understand "Patterns"? -
Patterns lead to "Grouping" (the basis for Set Theory in high school or college
level math). After "Grouping" comes concepts such as inclusion and
exclusion. In other words, inclusion means "Why is something part of a
group?" and exclusion means "What is something left out of a group?"
Items that can be grouped together have a definition of their grouping...an
example could be as simple as "Group all socks together." when you are
having children sort their clothes into piles. This is the Group's or
Pattern's definition. A common sense example of a Pattern's definition
could be "Find all of the pennies." when sorting change. This may seem
more like a "group" but both patterns and groups are one and the same at the
kindergarten level. The penny is a "pattern of one" just like a dime is a
"pattern of one times 10". The meanings will begin to diverge later but
for now we are just trying to get your children to recognize "like vs. dislike"
or "inclusive vs. exclusive" based on a definition provided by you.
What are some simple "Pattern" learning exercises or
Move all red blocks into a pile. (Inclusive, Colors, Shapes)
Move all green blocks into a pile. (Inclusive, Colors, Shapes)
Move all blue blocks into a pile. (Inclusive, Colors, Shapes)
NOTE: If a child shows difficulty in distinguishing
between red and green blocks (especially earth tone reds and greens) this may
be an early indication of color blindness.
These blocks work very well...
and have patterns to aid in counting and math
signs (+ = -) later.
Bring your change purse or change cup to the classroom (home
schools should have a dedicated "classroom" as well). Show the children a
penny. Have them remove all of the pennies. (Exclusive, Money)
You can purchase play money here...
its a large set and "Melissa and Doug" products have been
Have children sort change by size. Pennies, dimes,
nickels, quarters, etc. Have them explain why something was not
included in one pile or another. Have them explain why something was
included in a pile. Use this time to reinforce the concepts of "circles",
the "names" of the money pieces, and how to recognize similarities and
differences .(Size, Shape, Money, Inclusive vs. Exclusive)