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)
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).
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”
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.
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).