Mathematical understanding occurs when tamariki recognise and explore patterns in their world. Whether it is in the rhythm of music, the way petals grow on a flower or how a table is set for dinner, noticing patterns strengthens their observation skills

Why do it?

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

Noticing and creating different kinds of patterns is important so that tamariki can:

  • strengthen their observation skills
  • learn that the world is full of patterns, which helps them to understand more about their world
  • increase their awareness of the variety of patterns there are — some which are seen (visual patterns), and some which are heard (auditory patterns)
  • learn that some patterns are created by people and some occur within nature
  • follow a visual pattern from left to right, which is an important pre-reading skill.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Help tamariki notice the patterns around them — ‘Look at the “repeating” pattern on your striped top. It goes red, blue, red, blue, red, blue!’
  • Point out repeating patterns outside — ‘Look, there’s a pattern on the fence: wood, gap, wood, gap!’
  • Make patterns using household or natural items: buttons, flowers, leaves, shells, blocks, coins, sticks, stones or stickers.
  • Talk about ‘sound’ patterns around them — ‘I can hear a pattern in that haka: Stamp, stamp, slap, stamp, stamp, slap!’
  • Make sound patterns for them to copy: stomp, clap, stomp, stomp, clap, stomp.
  • Sing a pattern, clap a pattern or use musical instruments in a pattern.
  • To begin with, start with a pattern of two elements repeating, and then make the pattern sequence with three or four elements.
  • Draw or make patterns on cards for your child to read and copy. It could be a pattern of colours, or shapes, or sizes, or a combination of them.
  • Make patterns using things that can be threaded on string like beads, bottle tops or shells.
  • Create a pattern on paper for them to copy when threading.
  • Make sound patterns using voices, poi or rākau.

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Repeating pattern
Mua atu Before
He aha te tuatahi? What’s first?
Ko te angaanga pāua The pāua shell
Te tuarua? Second?
Ko te angaanga pipi The pipi shell
He aha te mea mātāmuri? What’s the last thing?
Ko te angaanga kūtai te mea mātāmuri The mussel shell is last
Kōrero mai mō te tauira Tell me about the pattern