Monday, November 9, 2015

Patterns: A Learning Moment with Grey

At LPB, our curriculum mantra is "Pace, Pattern, Compassion and Fun!". We know that these four elements of teaching are key to engaging children in the art of learning. Our curriculum is child development based and was created by our owners, who are both retired school teachers. Because of this foundation, we are PASSIONATE about how children learn. We had to share this report from Los Ninos Nursery School in Half Moon Bay. It describes in perfect detail how Grey (grandson of LPB owners Irene and John) creates his own learning environment using patterns:

A fine, sunny October afternoon in the yard offered a great opportunity for outdoor artwork. I set the sidewalk chalk out on the paved pathway and directed my attention toward the children playing in the yard. I overheard Grey demand, “I need to draw here!” I turned to see what was going on and found Grey hastily drawing out a pattern of squares! Two squares; one square; two squares; one square. The pattern began at the bottom of the stairs and proceeded along the paved path towards the gate. As he continued to draw his pattern on the path, other children became interested in what he was doing. Recognizing the pattern, Jenna used the squares to play a rudimentary form of hopscotch, planting two feet, then one foot, and so on. Sophia Ta, Eli and Alex jumped in and began hopping along the squares. Grey just kept moving down the path, adding squares like he was on fire! 

I was excited to see this pattern that Grey was making because it highlighted Grey’s use of mathematical processing in his play. Patterning is interesting to young children; it is the underlying structure of algebraic thinking. Because patterns are predictable, the brain is primed from infancy for pattern recognition. Grey’s use of the squares supports the development of number and spatial sense. Patterns help children learn to make predictions, to understand what comes next, to make logical connections, and to use reasoning skills.

 As he came to the end of the line in his pattern drawing, Grey stood back proudly and watched as his friends jumped along his predictable path. When it was his turn to jump, he joyously announced, “Here I go!” I noticed, again, how very motivated children are when they are self directed in their learning, and given the opportunity to explore their thought processes through uninterrupted free play time. “You made a pattern!” I exclaimed, validating Grey’s learning. “Tell me more about that,” I said. “It’s just what comes next,” answered Grey. Voila! 

Drawing the consistent pattern of squares along the path, Grey demonstrated the following learning: • Ability to focus and use intention in planning his work:

• Understanding of pattern and sequence 
• Intrinsic reward of following his own ideas 
• Mathematical reasoning

1 comment:

  1. Look for a report from Irene Madrid and Liesl Taner when we attend the Winter Conference on" " Learning and the Brain" in Feb!