What to do with this activity?
Finding and understanding patterns is what maths is all about. When we discover the pattern of a series of numbers or items, we can predict what comes next.
For instance, if a series goes like this ( 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 ) we might notice that each number in the series is 2 larger than the previous number. If the pattern continues, we can predict that the next number in the series is the number 13. A maths formula or rule is simply a way of describing a pattern that has been discovered. The formula or rule for this pattern is "the previous number plus 2".
Here's an online game from IXL predicting the next in a series with Increasing numbers. If you get the wrong answer it explains clearly how to work it out correctly next time.
This game from SoftSchools uses animal pictures to create a series. Get your child to explain to you how they made their choice. Often they will know the answer instinctively, but it's good to be able to say out loud the formula or rule that they have discovered.
If your child needs a more challenging learning game, have a go at cracking codes to a Locked Safe (from Top Marks).
Our brains are usually pretty good at noticing and remembering patterns instinctively. This is a great Pattern Memory Game from Cool Math for a bit more fun.
Everyday activities, like shopping and taking journeys provide a great opportunity for your child to practise maths skills by recognising patterns, counting out amounts, working out the best value, weighing and understanding money or understanding timetables and estimating your time of arrival!
Estimating is a very useful maths skill for everyday life – helping you decide if you have enough money to pay for a number of items or enough paint to paint a room. Encourage your child to estimate, for example, how many potatoes you will need for dinner or how much money to buy the shopping.
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