Problem Solving Strategies – Find a pattern

Find a pattern example – Click here to see example

Why Is It Important?

Patterns are often introduced to students without the context of a word problem as in the following example: “Find a pattern in this sequence, explain how it works, and use that pattern to predict the next four numbers. 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, __, __, __, __.”

Younger students often discover and continue using patterns that employ geometric shapes. For example, yellow circle, red square, green triangle, yellow circle, red square, green triangle, and so on.

Discovering patterns can help students learn multiplication facts when they notice that 4 x 7 is the same as 7 x 4, and that all numbers in the 10s column end with a zero.

The Find a Pattern strategy can be used to solve many math problems and can be used in combination with many other strategies, including make a table, make a list, or simplify the problem.

 

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