Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teddy Bear Patterning

Our neighbors gave us a set of teddy bear counters that their kiddos had outgrown about a year ago. I have put them out at different times for Q to play with, to sort by color and to "count." I decided this week she is ready for some simple patterning (the roots of algebra, did ya know!!). I made some cards that have patterns on them--I just made circles in Word and filled them with different colors. You could do the same thing with a marker or crayon or dot sticker. Then I laminated them.
You can buy the actual teddy bear cards that have pics of the teddies in the different colors, but I didn't want to spend any money, and using plain circles means you can use the same cards for any type of manipulative.

Q's task is to match the bears to the colors. She will eventually begin to notice she is repeating a pattern! For now I just have her set the bears on and when she's finished we "read" the bears--"red, green, red, green...." This teaches her to read a pattern from left to right while pointing at each bear.

Later I may ask her to:
-keep on extending the pattern onto the carpet (past the card).....
-name the pattern using letters "A, B, A, B, A, B..."
-make her own pattern

Patterning is suck a vital early mathmatical skill and a fun one for kids to learn through play!

If you don't have bears use flat marbles, bread ties, colored pastas, buttons, spray-painted baby food caps, bottle caps (from milk, juices, etc.), or even cardstock cut into circles.
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