Patterns/Subtractions/Fractions Oh My

Yeah! A wonderful teacher told me today that she was recently reading my ramblings. I had stopped writing because I was getting discouraged about my lack of an audience so it's great to hear that at least one person reads this! So without further ado here is what I did today... I spent the day in one of our amazing schools in a variety of different grades.

My first stop was in a Kindergarten classroom. We learned about AB patterns, AABB patterns, AAB patterns and ABB patterns. What a busy day for all those K students. We started off the day on the carpet with a short story. Within the story was an AABB pattern. Students quickly recognized it and I asked them to build a similar pattern using snap cubes. They did.

Then we moved back to the desks and played musical patterns. Students had to use 5 snap cubes or pattern blocks to design an AABB pattern. Once they had the first 5 pieces, I turned on the music and they started to dance around. When the music stopped, students moved to a nearby desk and had to add 2 pieces to the pattern displayed. They loved being able to move around and I loved having that quick visual check of how much they understood/didn't understand.

We did the same activity where we looked at the pattern, and then played musical patterns again with each of the other 3 patterns.

Finally, I handed out iPads and asked students to use Educreations to take a picture of a pattern they designed and record over it with their voice to explain which pattern it was. They did wonderful and I was so pleased with the diversity of their patterns.


There are another couple of great pattern apps that we downloaded for the students to use later this week.


Caboose Express Pattern App
KidsPattern App
First Grade Games (includes Pattern app)
Pattern App
Fun Farm Patterning (99cents)




Next up I went to a grade 1 classroom. We were working on subtraction. I started off with this Shark Teeth Activity I found online to help see what the students already knew as well as give them some basic manipulatives to help demonstrate their understanding.

Next we moved on to using a clothesline of numbers to demonstrate being able to count on a number line. I hung clothespins on numbers from the ceiling (a bad idea as it was too high for the students and I ended up having to hold them up!). Then I asked the students to move the clothespins down the number line as we subtracted.

We next applied this concept to this Number line subtraction game I found online. I modified it slightly by using clothespins instead of counters. Students each put their clothespin on the 20. Then they rolled a die and moved their clothespin down the number line. I asked students to verbalize their thinking (20 subtract 4 equals 16).

Finally, we applied this concept to a hundreds chart and played Off the Grid by Mama Jenn (I LOVE this game).



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