Patterns: Differences among Experts and Novices
We begin teaching patterns at an early age; most notably in pre-school and kindergarten by using the children themselves, and real-life objects such as the calendar (for example, I have observed pre-k through 2nd grade teachers representing pattern/number concepts asking the children to line up boy/girl, boy/girl, and other teachers who use calendar math concepts/programs such as “Everyday Math” with constructing patterns using letters, numbers, and pictures through days of the week as “AB, AB, AB” or “1-2, 1-2, 1-2”, or by using pictures to represent numbers such as “apple, leaf, apple, leaf”…) Teaching children to recognize patterns in the world around them is the first step in making connections and transferring knowledge to other areas across the curriculum. Teachers who recognize and pay careful attention to the diversity in their classroom bring in Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education (CRRE) teaching tools to ensure greater access to the curriculum and understanding for all students. One such tool, Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), asserts the need for learning through collaboration. This important Vygotskyian idea is central to current research-based theory on learning through modeling, feedback, and discussion, yet contradicts the American schooling practice of independent learning.