Friday, October 12, 2012

Number Patterns

We've been working with patterns in math lately. Our wonderful Mathy Mamas at math group kicked off our year with a hands-on exploration of Fibonacci numbers.

I've seen math referred to as the "science of patterns."  This made more sense to me when I heard myself say to Sela one day as she worked through a math problem, "Look for a pattern.  What do you notice?"  Sadly, "exploring" math is still outside my natural comfort zone as a homeschooling mama, but I came across an article that focused on "pattern-based thinking."  I liked that term.  It's concrete language to help me remember that when children are comfortable looking for patterns and then using those patterns to solve problems, then they can develop understanding of new concepts in the same way.

So, I enjoyed the kids enjoying exploration of this math pattern! They used natural objects, graph paper & colored pencils, dough, pipe cleaners and beads.  We keep saying we're going to make Fibonacci cookies -- why haven't we yet?!

These books are fantastic -- engaging and not overly complicated -- and I highly recommend:
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by D'Agnese
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Campbell

I listened to an interview with the author of this book and it sounded great -- I hope to read it sometime,
The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution by Devlin

For more activities, either with a nature-based or pencil & paper focus, I came across these two sites worth checking out.

We added a field trip to the bead store.  Can you see why?





1 comment:

  1. we enjoyed reading blockhead, too! it was interesting to diana to see how she had to choose different graph paper scaling and orientation and start point because she quickly ran out of room when drawing her spirals!
    i *must* recommend vi hart's videos on this topic (and more) - they are clear, insightful and a lot of fun to watch!


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