Pattern Explorer Beginning

Pattern Explorer Beginning

# 034597

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Item #: 034597
ISBN: 9781601447128
Grades: 3-4

Product Description:

Publisher Description:

Mathematics and science can be thought of as a search for patterns and structure. This 88-page book provides rich and diverse collections of pattern problems for students to explore, investigate, discover, and create. The five different types of pattern problems found in this book are:

  • Pattern Predictor
  • Equality Explorer
  • Sequence Sleuth
  • Number Ninja
  • Function Finder

There are optional hints and detailed solutions.

From a developmental perspective, the ability to recognize a pattern signals the transition from concrete to abstract thinking. So having students explore pattern problems helps sensitize them to the discovery process that provides a foundation for authentic learning and abstraction. These activities are independent and self-contained, but tend to build on one another and get gradually more sophisticated. Calculators are never needed, and their use is discouraged.

Parents and teachers should encourage students to pursue these pattern problems with a sense of adventure and perseverance. Although this book's patterns appropriate for Grades 3-4, experiences with these activities may vary widely depending upon readiness for abstraction. There are many ways to solve and explain a pattern problem, and the solutions provided are not intended to be unique. In all situations, and at whatever pace and facility, the transition from concrete to abstract thinking is worthwhile.

Category Description for Pattern Explorer:

When children are young, we teach them to recognize sequences, shapes, and patterns as prerequisites to math - important skills to build upon. This book from The Critical Thinking Company incorporates some fun puzzles to work with children from the fifth to seventh grade level to get them thinking about math functions. Five different types of puzzles make the math exploration challenging - Pattern Predictor, Equality Explorer, Sequence Sleuth, Number Ninja, and Function Finder. There are eight of each type for a total of 40 puzzles that become progressively more difficult. Pattern Predictor asks the student to look at a pattern of shapes and predict where the pattern will be in future stages. Equality Explorer is like Balance Benders (also by CTP) where the student sees a series of balances with shapes on one side and a number on the other - the student has to figure out the value of each shape in order to equal the number on the other side (balancing equations). Sequence Sleuth shows a sequence of patterns, objects, letters, etc., and asks a series of questions in which the student is to determine future stages in the sequence based upon what they can already see. Number Ninja lays out a series of operations and tells you a starting or ending number. Based on the operations you have to determine the missing start or finish number. The fifth type of puzzle is the Function Finder in which the student is to determine what functions are being employed given the example presented - look for a pattern and understand it. An example of this last puzzle would be 6?¢¦7=43; 8?¢¦3=25; 9?¢¦10=91; 2?¢¦5=11. Based on the mystery function offered here, what would the answers be to 5?¢¦9 and 16?¢¦3? The mystery functions would be multiply and add one. So the answers would be 46 and 49, consecutively.

There is now a Level 2 of the Pattern Explorer books. Intended for junior high/high school, this second book adds the use of variables. Otherwise, you will find the same types of puzzles as those found in Level 1. No prior knowledge of Algebra is required to do level 2.

Hints for solving the puzzles and solutions are offered at the back of the book. These are very

helpful when you get stuck.

This book is rated for 5th - 7th grade, but I feel the number-brain exercises in these puzzles would be good for even high school and adults. I have completely enjoyed working the puzzles in this book. This book is reproducible for classroom and family use. ~ Donna

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Brand Name
Critical Thinking Company
0.65 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.5" x 0.25"
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For some critical thinking practice for my 3rd grader in our homeschool.
Breanna J on Apr 10, 2023
For some critical thinking practice for my 3rd grader in our homeschool.
Breanna J on Apr 10, 2023
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