Numeracy in schools

Patterning in Grade 5 sees students learning the recognize patterning in the world around them

Patterning is an element of art, of architecture,

of nature and of our number system.

This is why most elementary classes will

begin the year with patterning activities.

In Grade 5, students use all their knowledge

of increasing and decreasing patterns to work

with mathematical formulas. This year, students

will learn about pattern rules.

If you think about it, all patterns have rules

so that anyone anywhere can reproduce the


Children labelled patterns with letters so that

one child could make the ABB pattern with

coloured sticks while another used blocks and

another used beads.

The rule is: use one of one kind and two of

a different kind.

For the increasing and decreasing patterns,

the child must determine where the pattern

starts and then what happens to the pattern

to make it go down or up.

Examples: 4, 7, 10, 13, 16…. Start at 4 then


25, 21, 17, 13… Start at _____ then ______

Several years before, students learned to

count by tens, starting at any number and now

students learn how to describe that pattern.

18, 28, 38, 48 …. Start at ___ then ______

Many text books introduce the idea of an

Input/Output Machine to generate patterns.

The machine is drawn with a task on it such

as +7.

Students input the first number and then

calculate what will come out, recording this

information on a T chart.

Gradually, the complexity of the patterns

increases. Try this one:

14, 9, 17, 12, 20…. Start at _____ then _____

and ______

I encourage students to record how the numbers

change so that they see the hidden pattern

within. 14 (-5) 9 (+8) 17 (-5) 12 (+8) 20….

More processes are introduced: 3, 6, 7, 14,

15, 30 …. Start at 3 then x2 and +1

These patterns are very easy to create.

Challenge your child to create patterns for

you to figure and do the same for him.

And, don’t be afraid to use simple division

because this is the grade where students work

hard on that skill as well.

For questions or requests email: do-math@

Next Article: Grade 6/7 Patterning

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