There are many patterns that students are already familiar with.
Good teaching of patterns makes use of these familiar patterns and draws the students' attention to many more.
Students can get excited about finding new patterns and creating their own.
There are many possibilities for using information and communication technology (ICT) to assist them in their explorations.
It is also important that students are helped to reflect on, and learn from, the patterns they find and make.
In this way, students can develop abstract ideas of number and shape that make complete sense to them.
They can also begin to develop their mathematical reasoning skills.
Exploring familiar patterns in the environment can lead to deeper student understanding and increased motivation and enjoyment. Examples are easy to find.
Patterns in school activities
At school, patterns can be found not only in mathematical lessons but also in school routines and other subject areas.
Concrete to abstract
Number sequences are abstract patterns. For optimum learning, they should always be linked to concrete patterns that students have already experienced.
Abstraction and generalisation
Students will gain powerful knowledge if they are encouraged to make abstractions and generalisations.
Use of electronic media can greatly enhance students’ understanding of patterns. Web-based media are the most common, but there are other possibilities.