Patterning Abilities of First Grade Children: Effects of Dimension and Type

ABSTRACT

In the United States children receive instruction on recognizing patterns beginning most often in kindergarten and continuing on through early elementary school years. Although widely accepted and included in curricula, patterning instruction has not been based on empirical research. The current study is the first attempt to determine how the dimension, e.g. color or shape, in which a pattern is displayed impacts children’s ability to understand the pattern. This study is also an initial exploration of whether the overall “rule” of the pattern impacted a child’s ability to recognize a pattern. Five types of patterns displayed in five different dimensions were presented to 204 first grade children in a completely counterbanced order. Results indicated that the dimension in which a pattern was displayed made no difference to the children. Patterns with alternating elements were significantly easier than any others, and those with increasing numbers of elements were significantly more difficult. Implications for instruction in patterning were discussed.

In the United States children receive instruction on recognizing patterns beginning most often in kindergarten and continuing on through early elementary school years. Although widely accepted and included in curricula, patterning instruction has not been based on empirical research. The current study is the first attempt to determine how the dimension, e.g. color or shape, in which a pattern is displayed impacts children’s ability to understand the pattern. This study is also an initial exploration of whether the overall “rule” of the pattern impacted a child’s ability to recognize a pattern. Five types of patterns displayed in five different dimensions were presented to 204 first grade children in a completely counterbanced order. Results indicated that the dimension in which a pattern was displayed made no difference to the children. Patterns with alternating elements were significantly easier than any others, and those with increasing numbers of elements were significantly more difficult. Implications for instruction in patterning were discussed.

Cite this paper

Gadzichowski, K. (2012). Patterning Abilities of First Grade Children: Effects of Dimension and Type.*Creative Education, 3,* 632-635. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.35092.

Gadzichowski, K. (2012). Patterning Abilities of First Grade Children: Effects of Dimension and Type.

References

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[2] Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2007c). Mathematics. In R. S. New & M. Cochran (Eds.), Early childhood education: An international encyclopedia (Vol. 2, pp. 502-509). Westport, CN: Praeger.

[3] Ducolon, C. K. (2000). Quality literature as a springboard to problem solving. Teaching Children Mathematics, 6, 442-446.

[4] Economopolous, K. (1998). What comes next? The mathematics of patterning in kindergarten. Teaching Children Mathematics, 5, 230-233.

[5] Gadzichowski, K. M., Kidd, J. K., & Pasnak, R. (2010). How odd is that? Poster presented at the meeting of American Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

[6] Hendricks, C., Trueblood, L., & Pasnak, R. (2006). Effects of teaching patterning to first graders. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21, 77-87. doi:10.1080/02568540609594580

[7] Herman, M. L. (1973) Patterning before mathematics in kindergarten, doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1972. Dissertation Abstracts International, 33, 4060.

[8] Jarboe, T., & Sadler, S. (2003) It’s as easy as 123: Patterns and activities for a creative, balanced math program. Peterborough, NJ: Crystal Springs BooksNational Councils of Teachers of Mathematics. (1993). Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics Addenda Series, Grades K-6. Reston, VA: NCTM.

[9] Papic, M. (2007). Promoting repeating patterns with young children— More than just alternating colors. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 12, 8-13.

[10] Threlfall, J. (1999). Repeating patterns in the early primary years. In A. Orton (Ed.), Patterns in the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 18-30). London: Cassell.

[11] Warren, E. A., Cooper, T. J., & Lamb, J. T. (2006). Investigating functional thinking is the elementary classroom: Foundations of early algebraic reasoning. Journal of Mathematics Behavior, 25, 208-223. doi:10.1016/j.jmathb.2006.09.006

[12] White, S. C., Alexander, P. A., & Daugherty, M. (1998). The relationship between young children’s analogical reasoning and mathematical learning. Mathematical Cognition, 4, 103-123. doi:10.1080/135467998387352

[1] Lester Jr., F. K. (2007) Mathematics learning. Second handbook on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 461-555). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

[2] Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2007c). Mathematics. In R. S. New & M. Cochran (Eds.), Early childhood education: An international encyclopedia (Vol. 2, pp. 502-509). Westport, CN: Praeger.

[3] Ducolon, C. K. (2000). Quality literature as a springboard to problem solving. Teaching Children Mathematics, 6, 442-446.

[4] Economopolous, K. (1998). What comes next? The mathematics of patterning in kindergarten. Teaching Children Mathematics, 5, 230-233.

[5] Gadzichowski, K. M., Kidd, J. K., & Pasnak, R. (2010). How odd is that? Poster presented at the meeting of American Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

[6] Hendricks, C., Trueblood, L., & Pasnak, R. (2006). Effects of teaching patterning to first graders. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21, 77-87. doi:10.1080/02568540609594580

[7] Herman, M. L. (1973) Patterning before mathematics in kindergarten, doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1972. Dissertation Abstracts International, 33, 4060.

[8] Jarboe, T., & Sadler, S. (2003) It’s as easy as 123: Patterns and activities for a creative, balanced math program. Peterborough, NJ: Crystal Springs BooksNational Councils of Teachers of Mathematics. (1993). Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics Addenda Series, Grades K-6. Reston, VA: NCTM.

[9] Papic, M. (2007). Promoting repeating patterns with young children— More than just alternating colors. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 12, 8-13.

[10] Threlfall, J. (1999). Repeating patterns in the early primary years. In A. Orton (Ed.), Patterns in the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 18-30). London: Cassell.

[11] Warren, E. A., Cooper, T. J., & Lamb, J. T. (2006). Investigating functional thinking is the elementary classroom: Foundations of early algebraic reasoning. Journal of Mathematics Behavior, 25, 208-223. doi:10.1016/j.jmathb.2006.09.006

[12] White, S. C., Alexander, P. A., & Daugherty, M. (1998). The relationship between young children’s analogical reasoning and mathematical learning. Mathematical Cognition, 4, 103-123. doi:10.1080/135467998387352