Children naturally encounter number sequences and patterns in everyday life. So when the time comes to formally teach them as a math topic, all you really need to do is train their brain to work out what comes next. That being said, having the right resources makes all the difference — you need to push students far enough to develop their numerical literacy, without overwhelming them either.
This guide will help you achieve that balance; read on for our top tips and the best worksheet bundles to help plan your number pattern lessons.
What are number patterns and sequences?
Number patterns are a sequence of numbers with a common relationship. For example, in the sequence 3,6,9,12, each number is increasing by three. Generally speaking, once a child is confident enough with numbers to count unassisted, they are ready to start exploring sequences.
When learning about numbers and sequences, you’ll also cover topics like the base 10 system, odd and even numbers, and making patterns with simple arithmetic.
Why are number patterns and sequences important?
At its core, mathematics is the study of numbers and their relationship to each other. That’s why it’s important to make sure kids have a solid understanding of number patterns and sequences before progressing onto more complex mathematical topics.
The ability to recognize patterns in groups of numbers will help a child develop critical thinking skills and prepare them for more complex mathematical operations in years to come.
And patterns are not just found in math, but also in nature, art, and music, as well. So being able to identify, recognize, and build upon sequences will help them in science, geography, social studies, and other classes, too.
Top tips for teaching number sequences
Teaching math isn’t always the easiest task in the world, some children will always take to the topic less naturally than others. But when it comes to number patterns, there are some ways to make it more enjoyable and engaging for everyone involved.
Teach them rhymes and games
Songs and rhymes like “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” and “The Ants Go Marching” are fun ways to teach kids numbers and ensure they can count without confusion. Use your fingers to count as you go along to give them a visual aid.
Incorporate numbers into daily tasks
Numbers are everywhere, so it’s easy to take your education away from the classroom. If you’re a math teacher, why not take the class for a walk around the playground and look for number sequences in trees and plants — notice how a tree tends to branch off from 1 trunk to 3 branches, to 5 smaller branches? That’s a number sequence in action! If you’re a homeschooler, ask your child to set the table with four forks, or to create patterns with the pieces of pasta on their plate.
Patterns don’t have to be numbers
If your child is struggling a little with numbers, take a step back and first introduce patterns with drawings. Rather than using numerals, you can make patterns out of clusters of dots. If you have a dominoes set, that’s also a great way to demonstrate patterns in a less overwhelming way.
The best worksheet bundles for teaching number patterns and sequences
Worksheets are an excellent way for your student to solidify what they’ve learned, and for you to assess their progress. All of these number sequences worksheets cover different aspects of pattern forming and come with additional information you can easily turn into a number sequence lesson plan.
Number patterns and sequences can often involve differentiating between odd and even numbers, so it’s essential your child has this core skill nailed. It’s pretty easy to teach — even numbers can be split in two, while odd numbers cannot — and the worksheets in this bundle use drawings to illustrate even numbers, e.g. can this bunch of six apples be evenly split in two? An excellent resource for any child who is a particularly visual learner.
Before jumping into sequences and patterns, it’s essential to ensure your child has a proper grasp of numbers and their order. As well as playing counting games and verbal exercises, complete some worksheets to confirm they understand numbers thoroughly. This worksheet bundle has a huge number of exercises with diagrams and illustrations that you and your child can complete together. They’ll be asked to spell out numbers, identify visual representations of numbers, and do some beginner’s counting.
This worksheet collection is a complete introduction to number patterns and is an ideal place to start. The 28-page bundle explains the concept of a number pattern and then demonstrates how to identify them. It has plenty of examples you can work through with your child, followed by fun exercises with colorful illustrations.
Using a number line can add clarity and structure for any students struggling to conceptualize abstract numbers in their heads. These 28 worksheets ask students to identify patterns on a number line, then make their own — ideal for learning number patterns and sequences, as well as more challenging addition and subtraction.
Once your child has mastered counting, the next level up is skip counting, where they count by adding a number greater than one. For example, 2,5,8,11 is skip counting by three. It’s a basic number pattern that will open them up to understanding more complex sequences. This worksheet bundle contains many diagrams and explainers to make sure students have a solid understanding before moving on.
Need more math worksheets? We’ve got you covered
Teaching number patterns and sequences to young children is straightforward when you’ve got the right tools. Remember you’re surrounded by numbers at all times, and can easily incorporate learning into real life. Props like blocks or pieces of pasta can be great teaching aids, and worksheets are an excellent way to solidify their learnings. We’ve got a huge collection of math worksheets available to download, so make sure you check them out.
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as How to teach kids number patterns and sequences (+5 worksheet bundles to lean on): https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 2, 2020