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Monday, January 9, 2012

Pattern Blocks

Several years ago, I found some pattern blocks at a discount store for around $1. Being a math teacher (at least back then), I was amazed since I knew how expensive they could be. I bought a set for my nephew and one for myself. I recently have been seeing some various sets for toddlers, so I decided to pull mine out and find some of the templates on line. I did a google search and discovered many. I think my favorite place was PreKinders. They have many animals and flower designs. Then I showed them to Steve and left them for him to do with Hazel while I was at work.

I took a few pictures of what was left out when I got home. Hazel also told me before she went to sleep that she wanted to do the "shapes" with me tomorrow. So I'm guessing she liked them.

Pattern blocks are usually wooden or plastic blocks of various shapes: squares, equilateral triangles, regular hexagons, two different types of rhombus, and an isosceles trapezoid. The side lengths are all equal to one another except for the longer base of the trapezoid. You can use them to teach about shapes, colors, patterns or for making shapes and creatively. I have also used them in algebra classes to introduce variables and in geometry classes to discuss the angles of shapes.

There are many lessons using pattern blocks on line. Since we have decided to go with a Waldorf education, we are not pushing the academic learning but more discovery and creativity at this age so my idea is for her. However there are so many sites you can check out including this one that you can play on-line with pattern blocks. Or Math Playground that also lets you play with them on line without the grid. You can also print your own from sites like this one (by page) or at Utah Education Network you can get them on one sheet (they also have some great activities for all age children).

Confessions of a Homeschooler also has some great pattern activities. Making Learning Fun has pattern templates of letters and numbers as well as Valentines. There are so many things you can do with these. Plus they can just be used to make designs and be very open ended.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Carrie! I love pattern blocks and enjoy letting my boys explore and learn with them. thanks for all the great sites! I too like PreKinders.

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  2. We are also huge pattern block fans in our house, and we have other types of shape sets too...always a hit. Thanks for the sites, a couple of those are new to me!

    Brittney
    www.moms-heart.blogspot.com

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