Providing children with a constructivist learning approach is important in supporting their interests and self-exploration. Allowing children to manipulate the objects, tools, and materials your learning environment provides, is how children learn best. With appropriate scaffolding and guidance children’s abilities to learn and express new concepts can be a  1. fun and challenging! (3.4 Vocabulary, conversing with peers and adults, ELECT)

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This activity, suggests a fun and creative way to explore how different colours, materials, shapes and sizes can create a pattern (4.10 Classifying, 4.18 Identifying patterns, ELECT). This collaborative art piece allows children to express their knowledge as educators can facilitate discussion and answer any questions. As they interact with one another, children learn new ways of thinking as they socialize  and create their own art pieces (3.1 Non-verbal and verbal communication, ELECT).

In addition, the materials educators provide in the classroom is also fundamental for meaningful learning. Educators should consider new materials that children are not familiar with on a regular basis. For example, 2. “Washi” a Japanese and Shi meaning of Paper is art tape that can be used on any surface to create unique pictures/symbols and abstract drawings (4.3 Representation, ELECT).

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1. Provide extra accommodations for those visual learners!

This “low tape” allows children to use it desks, paper, walls, and any other preferred surface as it is accessible and accommodating to the children’s learning environments. Providing young learners this self-exploration, children become the leaders of their learning, as they use the space around them in creating meaningful and active illustrations of patterning (4.3 Representation, ELECT). Evidently, children will be able to understand that patterns are everywhere, that come in many different forms.

Furthermore in supporting children’s practical and active experience with different materials, 2. providing resources  in the classroom or to families in helping them understand how easy and accessible materials are supports an inclusive practice in ensuring all children can have opportunities for patterning both in school and in the home.

“Apple, apple, banana, apple, apple, banana” is a basic AAB pattern. The items are repeated in a certain order” 

Everyday Lives:

There are different mediums and dimensions to learning patterning. As patterning is all around us, educators should demonstrate how accessible it is in children’s 3. everyday lives.

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Taking children outside in nature, showing them  natural materials, leaves, pinecone’s, trees, branches, the school’s playground and other things that surround the school’s environment can illustrate to young learners where patterns are. Furthermore, with supportive scaffolding, and the appropriate instructivist approach directing children’s attention to the details, shapes, sizes, of the outside world can suggest a new way of thinking.

Although this can be a fun and interactive activity in teaching children about patterning, allowing children to bring in the materials they found had patterns into the classroom, allows them to make meaningful connections to what they saw outside (4.5 Observing ELECT). This demonstrates further development and 4.supports those children who require discussion, reflection and extra time to learn new concepts.

Educators can support children’s understanding of nature and patterning by creating their own 5. exemplar to be hung in the classroom, as an initial visual and  instructive template to the lesson. When children may need help or further explanation into how these natural materials like a branch, or leaf can illustrate a pattern. As a result, educators or other staff members can provide a concrete example, before the activity can ensure that children feel comfortable and ready when going outside for this activity (4.8 Communicating findings, ELECT).

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What is Patterning?


Blog by: Nichole Gur , Patterning is a concept that surrounds us in our everyday life. It appears in our classrooms, in our homes and in daily occurrences. It is defined as a repeated range of contexts, and elements (McGarvey, 2013), and thus can bridge into multiple concepts/terms in early mathematical development for kindergarten children. Such concepts are; numeracy, relational thinking, abstract manipulation and algebraic reasoning .

Numeracy Concepts:

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Algebraic Concepts:

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Patterning creates new ways of thinking and exploring the environment. It should be taught both instructively and constructively in providing children with the appropriate tools to learn this concept successfully.

Play-Based Learning


It is essential for educators to provide learning in many different forms. Kindergarten children require attention, support, guidance and differentiated instructions. There are various learners in the classroom, those with Individualized Education Plans (IEP)Specific Learning Disabilities, and children who have recently immigrated to Canada or have English as a Second Language. As a result, the increase diversity within the classroom suggests that importance of multiple intelligence.

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Furthermore it is critical to consider the different ways children learn best. Allowing them to use their environment and peers to play, both in structured and free time, provides them with opportunity to develop and use new skills, such as, creativity, verbal/non-verbal communication, leadership and reasoning skills. Thus, play also supports a fundamental learning domain: 6. physical development  that enhances children’s learning greatly.

As a result, when physical movement is presented, children’s knowledge and learning is much more meaningful as they are able to use their bodies as tools through their learning (5.0 Physical development, ELECT). Educators can support this when teaching patterning, in providing an activity where children can physically and 4. actively   look for patterns.

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Play categorizing: 

Story: using materials to create different story lines

Function: using materials to fulfill the function Ie. Chair/house

Structure: using the materials to build a structure Ie. Tower

Pattern: using materials to explore abstract patterning

It is evident that a strong connection to patterning that enhances children’s learning is technology! (4.6 Collecting and organizing information, ELECT).

Other lesson plans/activities for educators:….

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In today’s society the increase and advancements in technology have shown to be a primary resources in children’s learning. As young learners are familiar with laptops, Ipads, Smart boards, and the internet they are able to explore new concepts in different ways. Building on self-exploration, children are the drivers to new surprises found in different games, programs and formats from technology. The notion of higher order thinking is evident as children gain the confidence to rotate, reflect and transform different tools using the icons provided in creating “crazy” or new ideas they never thought they could do hands on (4.2 Problem solving, ELECT).

Children are able to express their knowledge of patterns, as they use adaptive 5. technology in the process.

Make your own pattern play! in Wixie or Pixie!!!

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