# Math Manipulatives Galore! Using Pattern Blocks in Guided Math Groups

This month we will be exploring different types of math manipulatives and how they help to build mathematical proficiency. We are going to start with Pattern Blocks. Pattern blocks are one of the most underutilized math manipulatives around. Pattern blocks are a wonderful math resource for the classroom. They come in 6 colors and shapes – yellow hexagons, green triangles, blue diamond shaped rhombus, red trapezoids, orange squares and a smaller beige rhombus. We tend to use them in the primary grades for patterning and then in the upper grades for a bit of fraction work.

**In the primary grades we can use them to sort, pattern, to explore transformations, symmetry and congruency as well as compose and decompose shapes. In the upper grades we can use them to explore, add & subtract fractions as well as do angle work. You can use pattern blocks to teach number sense (counting, fractions, estimation), statistics (graphing) and probability, as well as geometry and algebra. **

In this post I am going to talk about and list some great resources to take Pattern Blocks to the next level.

**REALLY COOL STUFF!** Let’s start with something super fun! Math and Music. Check out this cool Pattern Block Rock site: http://www.philtulga.com/patternblock.html

**Pattern Blocks: Pattern Activities**

Great primary patterning cards. The links are mislabeled so click bears to get pattern blocks. The great thing about the workmats on this site is that they come in word so that you can simplify or complexify them as needed: http://www.jmeacham.com/math/patterns.htm

**Pattern Block Puzzles:**

http://prekinders.com/pattern-blocks/

http://www.patternblocktemplates.com/

(scroll down to Pattern Block Pictures) http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/math/math_activities.htm

**Pattern Blocks: Talking about shapes**

Great Annenberg Lesson Plans (Be sure to click through entire sequence of lessons!) http://www.learner.org/courses/teachingmath/gradesk_2/session_02/section_01_b.html

**Pattern Blocks: Talking about Symmetry**

http://mathwire.com/seasonal/symsflake.pdf

**Pattern Blocks: Fraction Activities**

Great pattern block fraction activities. Really creative work mats and rigorous thinking activities. Scroll down and print out the work maths: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/secondary/mathematics/years7_10/teaching/frac.htm

http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Patterns/

http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/rr/database/rr.09.95/hanson4.html-\

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?ID=L345

**Pattern Blocks: Angles**

http://www.etacuisenaire.com/pdf/manipulative_of_month/supersource_pb_56.pdf

**Printable Paper Pattern Blocks:** Remember we want to move from the concrete to the pictorial and then the abstract. The paper pattern blocks provide an opportunity to work at the pictorial level. You can use these at any grade level.

**http://www.aug.edu/~lcrawford/Tools/pattern_blocks.pdf**

**http://abcteach.com/directory/basics/math/geometry/pattern_blocks/**

**Computer Games:**

http://www.mathplayground.com/patternblocks.html

http://ejad.best.vwh.net/java/patterns/patterns_j.shtml

http://www.gingerbooth.com/flash/patblocks/patblocks.php

**Primary Pattern Block Activities:**

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for some great game ideas: http://www.kindergarten-lessons.com/kindergarten-pattern-activities.html

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4353

http://mason.gmu.edu/~mmankus/talks/PBlocks/pbact/other.htm

**Some Cool Pattern Supplies**. I use these to make different types of centers.

I have ** pattern block stamps, stickers, giant floor size pattern blocks, foam ones, plastic ones, magnetic ones (regular size and gigantic ones), activity cards**.

I could probably supply another school district with all the pattern blocks in our building, but unless they are used by teachers, their value as a learning tool goes is minimal. My favorite resource is the math and music. I immediately called the music teacher, who is very familiar with the “phil tulga” website. We had so much fun making rhythms, and we want to collaborate with classroom teachers to design small group lessons or maybe whole group, as well. I always feel like I am opening a gift when you send your latest posts. Can I get the magnetic pattern blocks at Lakeshore Learning?? As always, thanks.

Lisa PietrosimoneNovember 4, 2010

Thank you so much! Isn’t pattern block rock too great! There is so much potential with pattern blocks, we have to start using them for more things.

Thanks again,

Dr. Nicki

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drnickinewtonDecember 11, 2010