Friday, October 3, 2014

Seeing Patterns in Nature



Early math and early reading emphasize patterns. Most early childhood education emphasizes linear pattern. You know like: A B A B A...What comes next?

But patterns are much more complex than that, and the natural world is a great place to begin to see that. We headed out to the back yard earlier this week to see what kinds of patterns we could find.

We talked about how patterns don't always repeat themselves visually in a line, sometimes it can be in other shapes like spirals or circles.

So Chobie learned about the concept of radial symmetry. We looked different examples in plants around the yard.






Then made our own pattern with found materials in an excellent moment of mathematical and artistic synthesis.



A few days later we also stumbled upon some rare and wondrous earth star mushrooms in the woods behind our house, which also display radial symmetry. I didn't have my camera on me, but there may be pictures soon.



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12 comments:

  1. I like your artistic and creative approaches to teaching !

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  2. I never thought about teaching patterns by looking at things around us like plants! This is a great hands on learning activity!

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    1. Yes, I like it because it integrates so many different academic disciplines too: natural science, art, math, pre-reading skills.

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  3. I love the way nature builds beautiful lessons! Love it, mama. :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm trying to do even more of that this year.

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  4. Great post! My boys and I are outdoors ALL. THE. TIME. Nature has so much to teach them and things I"m still learning. I love the idea of seeing patterns and shapes within the patterns. I think by drawing their eye to something and making them look closer really allows them to enjoy the beauty of the world around them. Hopefully it will allow them to really look at people too and not just glance over them. Might be a little more than you were thinking in this post - lol, but you get the point ;) #blogitforward

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    1. This is actually exactly what I'm trying to get at. Appreciating beauty and connection to the natural world are huge priorities for me with homeschooling. It's great that you see it too!

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  5. That is such a unique and wonderful way to teach math! I really really wish I could homeschool my son!

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    1. Thanks! Even if you can't homeschool full time, you can always squeeze little activities like this into your weekends...

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  6. I know this is about how you were teaching your son...but my decorating and design loving eye, really wants to head out to the back yard and start piecing together a cool symmetrical collage that looks like the one above...and frame it and put it on my wall ;) Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I think that's a great idea! If you do it and blog it, you should send me a link because I'd love to see what you come up with.

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