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Familiar situations

Mathematics is abstract but it is based on a particular way of looking at our everyday environment.

Learning will therefore be more effective if it can be related to students' experience.

In particular, good teaching always relates patterns to the students' world.

The result is not only increased student interest and motivation but also a greater likelihood that they will understand the underlying ideas and be able to apply mathematics to everyday situations.

Patterns are everywhere in our environment so it is easy to use familiar examples for teaching about patterns.

Examples of patterns can be found both within the classroom and outside.

For example, patterns that students may have made with counters, beads, numerals or cut-out shapes can also be seen in floor tiles, school fencing, brick walls and butterfly wings.

A pattern hunt

A pattern hunt is an excellent way for students to explore familiar patterns.