Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

## Recognizing the Number Amount in a Pattern

It was the first week back from Christmas break and I was so excited to see the students and begin working with all of them in math again. On Tuesday Morgan and I asked Mrs. Peterson if she had any specific goals in mind that we can work towards achieving when working with the students. She said that with the new quarter beginning, one of the new assessments has to do with incorporating dominos. Morgan and I decided to use the dominos on Tuesday as way of helping the students practice number recognition in a pattern. There are still a number of students who are not able to identify how many dots are being represented in the pattern unless they count the dots. We decided to work one on one with the students who were still struggling to look at a pattern and recognize the number. The activity I decided to do included the dominos. First the student and I would like at every pattern on the dominos (1-6) and see if they could first recognize how many dots are on the domino. The majority of the students that I worked with could recognize patterns with dots 1, 2, and 3, but any pattern after 3 dots students would count the dots on the dominos. This helped me see that the students still were unsure of number recognition when looking at patterns. After going through the patterns on the dominos. The student and I would line up the dominos with the ones that matched. Since there were two patterns on the dominos, students would match the first half of the pattern with a matching pattern and continue the process until all the dominos were in one straight line. The students and I said that they could only connect if the patterns matched. Every time the students would connect the dominos they had to say the number on the dots. During this process I asked the student, “why did you connect those two dominos?” The students would respond, “…because they have the same amount of dots and are matches.” Not all students used the dominos, because some students in the class are able to look at the pattern and recognize the numbers higher than 6 dots. For those students I used the IPad app, pattern sets. The students really liked this app and I am able to adjust the settings so that if students need more time to look at the pattern they are able to do so. The goal is for all students to be able to look at a pattern and be able to say how many dots are in the pattern without having to count the dots every single time. What I am currently seeing with the students is that they are scared of being wrong and second guess the answers and count the dots anyway. There are also times when students will count the dots on a pattern and when they get that same pattern again (two or three patterns latter) they do not recognize the pattern they just counted and recount the dots again. This happened multiple times with the students I was working with and I am wondering how can I get the students to recognize not only the pattern and amount of dots in the pattern, but also recognize the patterns they just worked with? I wonder, how do the students see the dot arrangement? For instance, when working with the pattern of 2 dots the students would not have to count the dots; they could easily recognize 2 as the amount being shown on the domino. However, when working with 4 dot patterns students would have to count the dots. They could not recognize the 2 dots on the left and the 2 dots on the right for a total of four. The students would always have to count the pattern when more than 3 dots were being shown. This brought me to the question how do students view the pattern and how can I continue working with the students, so that they are making progress at recognizing the amount of dots in the pattern. This will be something that I work towards with group of students who still need more guidance in pattern recognition.

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