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Looking Back and Moving Forward

Grace M. Burton
Location: unknown

This final lesson reviews the work of the previous lessons. Students explore patterns in additional contexts and record their investigations. Students will rotate through center activities. Teachers may add other centers they feel will benefit the students.

To begin the lesson, display a table like the following on which data can be recorded.

Number of People 
Body Part 1  2  3  4  5  6 
Toes on 1 Foot      
Toes on 2 Feet      

Ask the students to record entries in the table and to tell how they got them. Then ask what the entries would be if there were 8 people or 10 people. Encourage the students to skip count to find the answers.

Have students rotate among the following centers.

Teacher-Guided Center 

Provide access to color tiles. Tell students they will each create a square pattern. Instruct students to build the smallest square they can with the color tiles. Discuss their squares. [A square with 1 color tile.] Then have students build the next smallest square. Ask students to describe this square. [A 2 × 2 square with 4 color tiles.] Continue this process for the next two squares. [A 3 × 3 square and a 4 × 4 square.] Give students grid paper and ask them to draw the fifth square. [A 5 × 5 square with 25 tiles.] Discuss with students how the squares changed and how they drew the fifth square.

Independent practice center 

Post student pattern puzzles (from the What's Next lesson in this unit) where students can see them. Students choose three puzzles to copy. After copying these patterns, students fill in the missing elements. As a challenge, you may provide all the students with one pattern that has a mistake. Students must draw this pattern correctly.

Computer center 

Access the Hundred Boards E-Example. Students create their own number patterns using the online calculator. Students record one number pattern on a hundred chart. They must write one sentence describing their number pattern.

  • ’Number of People’ Table (see Instructional Plan, below)
  • Color tiles
  • Grid paper
  • Crayons
  • Student pattern puzzles (from lesson 3 in this unit)
  • Blank paper
  • Computer and Internet connection
  • Hundred charts


At each center activity, students will produce work that can be collected to assess whether they met the unit objectives.

Questions for Students 

1. How do you know a shape is a square?

[It has four sides and they are all the same.]

2. How is each square changing in the square pattern?

[Each square has one more tile going across and one more tile going up and down.]

3. How did you know how many color tiles would be in the fifth square?

[I drew the fourth square. Then I added one more row and one more column. or I knew it would have five tiles going across and five tiles going up and down.]

Teacher Reflection 

  • Which students met all the objectives of this unit? What extension activities are appropriate for those students?
  • Which objectives were the most difficult for students to meet? What additional instructional experiences can I use to help students meet these objectives?
  • Which portions of this multi-day unit plan were the students most motivated to complete? Why?
  • Where will pattern concepts be included in other areas of the curriculum?
  • How can I help students connect the important ideas in this set of lessons to other ideas in mathematics such as multiplication and geometry?

Order, Order


In this lesson students seriate objects and review the meaning of ordinal numbers. They describe orderings in words and in pictures. [This lesson gives you an opportunity to review or teach vocabulary such as before, after, and next.] At the conclusion of the lesson, students make an entry in their portfolios. A Science extension is suggested.


Sorting Time

Students sort objects and symbols and make patterns with sorted objects. They make Venn diagrams and use their sortings to create linear patterns. They extend a pattern created by the teacher. Students will begin identifying pattern cores and reading patterns. A Social Studies connection is suggested as an extension.

What’s Next?

Pre-K-2, 3-5
In this lesson, students make patterns with objects, read patterns and find patterns in the environment. They should be encouraged to classify patterns by type (i.e. AAB, ABC). They continue learning about patterns by extending a given pattern, identifying missing elements in a pattern, and recording a pattern.

Playing With Patterns

Students use objects and symbols to make repeating linear patterns. They extend patterns and translate patterns from one modality (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) to another. A Physical Education connection is suggested as an extension. This lesson is intended to take two class periods to ensure that all students have multiple opportunities to create original patterns.

More Patterns

Students extend their knowledge of linear patterns by recognizing and discussing familiar patterns. Students make auditory and visual patterns from names. An art activity is suggested as an extension.

Multiple Patterns

Students explore patterns which involve doubling. They use objects and numbers in their exploration and record them using a table.

Exploring Other Number Patterns

Pre-K-2, 3-5
Students make and extend numerical patterns using hundred charts. They also explore functions at an intuitive level. This lesson integrates technology.

Growing Patterns

Pre-K-2, 3-5
Students explore growing patterns. They analyze, describe, and justify their rules for naming patterns. Since students are likely to see growing patterns differently, this is an opportunity to engage them in communicating about mathematics.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Create, extend, analyze, describe, and record repeating patterns.
  • Create, extend, analyze, describe, and record growing patterns.
  • Create, extend, analyze, describe, and record number patterns.

NCTM Standards and Expectations

  • Recognize, describe, and extend patterns such as sequences of sounds and shapes or simple numeric patterns and translate from one representation to another.
  • Analyze how both repeating and growing patterns are generated.

Common Core State Standards – Mathematics

Grade 1, Measurement & Data

  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4
    Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Common Core State Standards – Practice

  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1
    Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7
    Look for and make use of structure.
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP8
    Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.