A major focus in class is to recognize patterns as we progress through our math curriculum. Many researchers argue that focusing on performing fast calculation shouldn’t be the goal of Math education, as it does not build mathematical ability. On the contrary, it could be detrimental to the child’s progress and may even limit their math potential. In most cases, they equate “fast computation” to memorization and rote learning without necessarily having a deep understanding of the subject.
According to them, ability to visualize a problem, recognizing patterns, seeing things differently and taking time to understand a problem deeply helps the brain make new connections and think creatively. “Making connections” creates new pathways in one’s brain, allowing it to grow and develop.
I believe deeply in this philosophy and think children actually enjoy Math when taught this way. Click here to see some examples of how we strive to explore patterns in class.
Recognizing patterns improves problem-solving skills in children because they understand that they can use logical reasoning to look for a solution. Identifying repeating patterns enables children to make the transition from concrete to the abstract and generalize solutions. This ability is the very foundation of algebraic thinking, data analysis, identifying geometric patterns and other advanced skills. Things you could do to improve your child’s pattern recognition abilities:
- Play classical music
- Teach them to play an instrument (When computer scientists were a rarity in the 70s and 80s, they would hire musicians instead!)
- Play board games with your children
- Encourage them to draw and color!
A research study indicates that just working 10 minutes a day in a group setting, to solve a problem creates new and permanent pathways to form in the brain. Do let me know in the comments below if you have any ideas/thoughts/resources that can reinforce our children’s learning in a group environment.