Pattern Blocks http://mcruffy.com/../Images/PatternBlocks.jpg What are they? Pattern blocks are a type of mathematical manipulative that was first introduced in the 1960s by the Elementary Science Studies. They are flat shapes that can come in wooden or plastic form. Using the pattern blocks helps children to see how shapes are decomposed into other shapes (for example: 3 triangles can fit into a trapezoid). The set contains six different geometric shapes which are: hexagons (yellow), squares (orange), trapezoid (red), triangles (green), parallelogram (blue), rhombi (beige). What are some uses for them? 1) Patterning Set up a math table with the pattern blocks in the middle. Ask children to create their own pattern. Once complete, ask them to explain their pattern rule For children who need extra support, you can start the pattern rule (e.g., A-B pattern) and ask the child to extend the pattern. Once complete, ask them to tell you the pattern and then to explain the pattern rule. Next step, ask child to create another pattern independently (Is there another pattern you can create?). 1) Exploring properties of different shapes Give children a bunch of pattern blocks, and ask them to explain the properties of each shape. Once they answer it you can challenge their thinking by asking How do you know? 3) Sorting Example: By attributes for kindergarten Give children a bag of pattern blocks; ask them to sort it in as many ways as possible. Ask children to explain their thinking (sorting rule). 4) Tessellation Ask children to cover a surface using as many flat shapes as they want, without overlapping any shape or leaving any gaps. The next step is to ask children to name the tessellation. Teach them to identify the vortex first, and then to go around that point and write down how many polygons meet at that vortex. Example http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/images/tessellation-notation.gifThree hexagons meet at this vertex, and a hexagon has 6 sides. So this is called a "6.6.6" tessellation. http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/tessellation.html 5) Creating pictures Kindergarten: Have several pattern blocks templates on a table with the pattern blocks. The objective is for children to place the shapes onto the picture until it’s covered. Questions you can ask are how many _________(pattern block name) did you use to create your picture. Grade 1 and older: Give children a blank construction paper, ask children to create any picture they want using pattern blocks and ask same questions as you would for kindergartens. As an extension, you can also ask your children to create the same picture using different pattern blocks. 6) Teaching fractions (e.g., how many trapezoids are in one hexagon) This activity will teach the relationship between the shapes. For example how many trapezoids will fit into one hexagon? The answer is 2, so 1 trapezoid equals to 1/2 of a hexagon. 7) Interactive games You can find many interactive games on Smart Exchange or create your own. For example you can have a fraction game up and ask children to find out how many ________ makes one ______. Then ask them to write the relationship between the smaller parts (smaller pattern block) to the whole (bigger pattern block). 3 Part Lesson Plan for Fractions using Pattern Blocks http:// illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=1308 Curriculum Expectations: Overall Expectation: Use concrete materials to represent fractions. Specific Expectation: Divide whole objects and sets of objects into equal parts, and identify the parts using fractional names (e.g., one half; three thirds; two fourths). Learning Goal: Task/Problem I will be able to identify fraction To add different numbers up to 10. relationships among pattern blocks. Part 1 Before, Minds On or Activate Success Criteria: Prior Knowledge: Draw a picture of a big pattern block (For example, a trapezoid) and present to the children. Ask children to cover this pattern block using green triangles? Questions: How can we solve this problem? Is there another way to solve this problem? What is the relationship between the big pattern block and the little ones? Part 2: Hands On Have the children work in groups of two to answer each question on the handout. Questions: - How can we solve this problem? - Is there another way to cover the whole fraction (the bigger pattern) blocks using different pattern blocks? - What is the fraction? Part 3: Consolidation Answer the questions in a large group similar to minds on. Children can take turns showing the different ways to get the sum of 10. ⁃ ⁃ ⁃ I know that a fraction is part of a whole object I know that a pattern block can be divided into equal parts I know that the relationship between smaller pattern blocks is equal to a whole pattern block (e.g., 3 triangles are the same as 1 trapezoid. Therefore 1 triangle equals 1/3 of a trapezoid). Strategies: - Use a manipulative (pattern blocks) - Make a picture Tools: - Pattern Blocks (only the yellow hexagons, red trapezoids, blue rhombuses, and green triangles) - Region Relationship Worksheet Misconceptions: - How can we solve this problem? - Is there another way to cover the whole fraction (the bigger pattern) blocks using different pattern blocks? - What is the fraction? Part 3: Consolidation Answer the questions in a large group similar to minds on. Children can take turns showing the different ways to get the sum of 10. hexagons, red trapezoids, blue rhombuses, and green triangles) - Region Relationship Worksheet Misconceptions: Congress Question: ⁃ Is there a way to represent the red trapezoid using blue and green pattern blocks? ⁃ Can you cover the red trapezoid using only one color? ⁃ What does this tell us about the relationship between the blue rhombus and the green triangle? [The trapezoid can be covered with one green triangle and one blue rhombus, or it can be covered with three green triangles. Consequently, there are two green triangles in one blue rhombus.] - Are there other ways to represent various pattern blocks (for example, the yellow hexagon) using more than one color pattern block? [The students should be lead in a discussion of the relationships inherent in these representations.] - Do you understand that there may be more than one way to represent the fraction? - Do not understand that you have to divide the bigger pattern block using the same small pattern blocks (using equal parts) - The bigger the number on the denominator, the bigger the fraction. - Half means just one whole cut into two equal pieces.
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