Patterns with Links

As I have mentioned before early math is not my strong suit so I am learning too. I had seen variations of Link ‘N Learn Links being used. I didn’t ‘pin’ them so I am afraid I can’t show you examples but I have seen paper clips being used instead of links and homemade activity cards.

I took the easy option (I am scaffolding my learning) and used Link ‘N Learn Links and Link ‘N Learn Activity Cards. The wonderful resource guide took things step by step for me. If I was teaching fractions I would know exactly where to start; (no problem for a grade 6 teacher) but for early patterning, I am enjoying using resources.

The first time I got this resource out I remembered to let Daisy play. I have made the mistake of trying to do a structured activity without letting her play and explore the materials first. It never works. I firmly believe in learning through play and if an activity is no longer fun for my flowers, they will not be doing it. She had made bracelets and necklaces for herself and her stuffies before sitting down to do this activity.

The following day we started sorting the links by colour.

We looked at the activity cards and started at the beginning. They are all double sided and clearly labelled, starting with 1a then 1b and moving on to 2a etc. We discussed the pattern saying aloud the colours; “red, yellow, blue, green, red, yellow, blue, green,” and Daisy joined in.

She stated “I know what to do mummy” and off she went. She was happy to do this independently. I watched and if she struggled I asked

“Would you like help?”

“What do you think comes next?”

“What is the pattern?”

Daisy played, making patterns for 20 minutes. As you can see from the picture below she was just getting to the continuing the pattern point when interest was lost. Her colour matching and sequencing skills are strong and I think we are ready to move onto continuing patterns. What you can’t really see is that she insisted on matching the break in the links also. The activity cards show if the link break is at the top or bottom. Daisy simply HAD to match the break in her pattern, with the card (a perfectionist in the making – yikes!).

Learning Opportunities:

Math: sorting by colour, identifying and reproducing patterns, discussing patterns

How have you used links?

Got Sorting Sorted!

So math is not something I have been concentrating on too much with Daisy. I think it is because I am more interested in literacy and arts. However I would rather not pass my ambivalence to all things mathematical, onto my kids. So I decided to recruit some help on my early math, learning journey. I talked to my best friend before she headed back to teach in the Middle East. She recommended working on counting, number recognition, number bonds to 10, patterns and sorting, ordering, shape and measuring over the next year. That seemed like quite the list to me.

I am an Elementary teacher but specialized in Junior age (grade 3-6). So I will be having fun researching ideas. I decided to start with sorting and see how Daisy thinks about organising (something I love doing). She enjoys helping with laundry so I guessed she would enjoy sorting. I was right. When given a box of mixed items to sort she immediately understood where everything had to go. The basket contained:

I gave her a chip and dip tray I had bought from the dollar store for a butterfly themed party.

Daisy quickly picked out the crayons and sorted them into colours then put them together in a section of the organiser. She was disturbed the purple crayon did not have a match. The other objects were quickly sorted too although she did try to sort the scissors further as there were two different sizes.

The Backyardigans where played with for a few minutes and sorted together on the chair as they didn’t fit in the organising tray. Dasiy was again disturbed that Pablo and Tyrone were missing!

As we were outside and Rose was happy playing in the sandpit we took the orportunity to sort the clothespegs also.

Early one morning I introduced Backyard bugs. We were both excited to play with these. I gave them to Daisy after breakfast (hence the pajamas) and she played with them for 15 minutes.  

The bugs are going to a party and they all have names!

We selected one bug, a stag beetle, and hunted out blue objects that matched it. Daisy used my camera, with help, and photographed the bug beside other blue things. By her flowers:

On a Daisy painting:

Matching the pajamas:

Later in the day Granny watched while Daisy sorted the bugs. She noticed Daisy immediately knew how she wanted to sort but was unable to follow her method through; there were not enough blue dragonflies, or red dragonflies so she had to mix the colours. The spiders where segregated; they seem a little too real I think! The caterpillars at the top left of the picture are having a meeting and the red one is telling the others how to behave!

Now I know Daisy is able to sort, our next activity will be more directed. My organising daughter takes after me!