GIGANTIC Patterns Unit!

I was sitting at home recently, oh you know just perusing the Common Core Standards as I am sometimes known to do {dork alert!} when I realized that there was no standard for patterning in the CCSS.  "NO patterns in the CCSS?" I thought, "This cannot be!"  I looked through again and again.  I checked the pre-K standards (it's a Massachusetts thing).  Then the kindergarten standards.  Then the first and second grade standards.  No patterns to be found!  THEN I saw it... the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  Standard 8 says "Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning."  Hmmm... I thought, that sounds a whole lot like patterns to me.  If you don't know what I'm talking about you can check it out {HERE} on pages 8 and 10.

The next night we happened to have a lovely 3 hour math professional development at school, given by a math education professor.  I had the chance to ask him about why on earth they took patterns out of the Kindergarten curriculum.  "It's so important!  They love it!" I argued, tapping my foot.  He said that they did not take it out, no sirree...  Patterning now falls under the category of Standard 8 for Mathematical Practice.  Yipee!

I got super inspired from there, and spent approximately eleventy billion hours making this:

 Not to be a dork {again} but I am SO excited about this.  I know it's going to do wonders for my little ones' understanding of patterns... how to make them, the different types of patterns and how to find the core unit of a pattern.   I included tons of visuals, movement, sounds and so much more!

Let me break it down for you.
Because young children learn so well when they are using actual objects, I designed this unit to go along with four types of manipulatives that can be found in most early childhood classrooms: counting bears, pattern blocks, linking or connecting cubes and buttons.  If you don't have these things, you can usually beg/borrow/steal them or purchase them pretty inexpensively {here, for example}.

Learning objective poster (middle)
This includes student friendly language AND Common Core alignment

Anchor Posters
There are twelve anchor posters total (six for counting bears and cubes, six for pattern blocks and buttons).  These can be displayed one at a time while students are learning about and mastering a particular pattern. 

All you have to do is cut each pages= into three strips, and they are ready to go!  Kids will use these with manipulatives to make patterns.  There are 12 strips for each type of pattern (AB, AAB, ABB, AABB, ABC and ABD) and all four types of manipulatives for a grand total of 288 pattern strips!  I punch a hole in mine and pop 'em on a binder ring by type for easy storage.

This build a pattern game is super fun!  Students draw a pattern card (top left) and the corresponding number of manipulative cards.  Then they build the pattern!  For example, if a child draws the AABB card, they will then draw two cube cards (pink and blue).  Then they will build a pink pink blue blue pattern.  The dots on the pattern cards tell them how many manipulative cards to draw.  This game is great to work on following directions, social skills and turn taking as well as patterning. 

For each type of manipulative, there is also a variety of recording sheets and practice sheets.  On the recording sheets, students will draw the patterns they made in their math center.  The comprehension check sheets are differentiated for students who are new to patterns or struggling with them, and those who have a higher understanding of patterning.  Not shown are build a pattern sheets where children cut and paste their own pattern.

I have also included a student objective with CCSS alignment for finding the core unit of a pattern, and an anchor poster for that as well.  
Last but not least, my students' favorite... sound and movement patterns!  Just cut them up into flashcards, and students explore patterns in a whole new way.  Students draw two or three (or four or more!) cards, then either make the sound or act out the pattern.  For example, if they choose Roar and Woof, they will all say "roar, woof, roar, woof" or "woof, woof, roar!"  They loooooove this.  The movement cards are great for brain breaks too, because it gets their wiggles out while learning an important skill.  Personally I love to use these during indoor recess or as a time filler.  This is also a great way to meet the needs of your aural and kinesthetic learners.

Thanks for reading all of that!  I hope you like it :)
You can check out this unit in my TPT store {HERE}.  It is on sale for $7 through this Sunday only {normal price: $10.00}.  It is 156 pages of goodies, so that is only 4 cents a page.  Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!


Heather said...

This looks AMAZING!! Adding to my wish list now!

Heather (

Tami Grandi said...

sadly it's not just your prek- ours in TN it has been taken out also. Supposedly it falls under the geometry one but I'm not seeing it...