Patterns, patterns everywhere! I love playing with patterns and pattern blocks and my students always have too! Do you have a stack of pattern blocks in your classroom? They are wonderful and can be used for so many different concepts in math: geometric shapes, tessellations, symmetry, fractions, and more! How about a few ideas for using them below?
Pattern Block Cards!
Students in every grade level I have worked in from K-6 always love working with pattern block cards and recreating the images on the paper either on top of it, or as a challenge, I sometimes ask specific students to make the same pattern OFF the paper. This becomes fundamentally harder if they have not had much practice with this. Practicing at transferring the ideas from one paper to another place is actually a good way to introduce note-taking or summarizing from a book passage (believe it or not)!
Here are several fun cards to download for free! note, most everything I could find were meant for younger students. If you teach intermediate children, you might consider having them partner up to create a picture out of the shapes, and then trace the outline so that it becomes much more challenging!
Making Your Own Tesselations!
I could get lost in this activity forever. I have so much fun creating the patterns myself! The “Investigating Tessellations Using Pattern Blocks” activity from The Math Forum is good fun for older students who are ready for more of a challenge!
Check out these AWESOME Giant Magnetic Pattern Blocks from Learning Resources! They are great for your kinesthetic learners AND the bonus is there are no tiny little blocks hiding under bookcases and desks when it is time to pick up. These pattern blocks are super sized, which makes it fantastic for demonstrating fraction concepts on the whiteboard.
Another thought I had about these is when you are teaching basic geometric vocabulary they can be so helpful! I don’t know how many times I have tried to draw a decent looking hexagon on the whiteboard so I could label the vertices and sides and how easy this would have been instead – lol!
They are all backed with magnet material, so they are great for a math center where you have placed the blocks and some cookie trays/sheets!
Check out my super cool patterning blocks skills below.
There are really a ton of uses for pattern blocks in the classroom, and while virtual options such as the ones from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, are good for those that don’t have a supply budget, there is really something to be said for the learning that occurs with the physical movement and manipulation of the blocks themselves.
Would you love to have a set of the Giant Magnetic Pattern Blocks from Learning Resources? Get entered below! Good luck to all who enter from Learning Resources and Organized Classroom!
What is your favorite way to use pattern blocks in your classroom? We would love to hear in a comment below!