Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Common Core and Patterns

This year Tennessee like a lot of other states have adopted common core in Kindergarten and first grade. We also adopted a new math series and a new teacher evaluation system. It is definitely the year of change. I'm trying to keep an open mind about our math series. I'm not sure what I think about it and probably won't know for sure until I've taught it a year. (Although next year I'll be teaching First grade so it could be two years.) The next unit we're on is patterns. I was sitting down to work on my plans and started looking though the common core standards to get my I can statement. Patterns is no where to be found in the common core. I double checked on the pacing guide from the county and they don't have this chapter listed anywhere in it. I'm a little torn. I know that I'm responsible for the common core and I want to give my students all the skills they need for the next school year. Patterns are an important building block for math. I think if kids can see patterns they can do so much with math. In first grade, we work a lot of number patterns and patterns in adding and subtracting. I'm not sure they're going to get this foundation if I skip patterns all together. I know that calendar skills are no longer part of the standards I'm expected to teach and I haven't given up calendar because that's a life skill. I'm a little perplexed about what to do.
I would love to hear about what others are doing or any suggestions/


  1. We just had an inservice on Common Core today. We were perplexed also. The processes does list "recognize number patterns" but we apparently don't teach them to make them. Hmmm. Well, our kids did patterns for a week or two (essence of patterns!) and I guess we can throw it in there a little. We only have 6 weeks left in 1st quarter so we are going to focus on the first quarter objectives and try to get them all in. We were told not to worry about the common core until after today but now we have a ton of planning to do! It should be an interesting year!

  2. We interpreted the mathematical practices standard (I thinks its MP.8) to mean "look for patterns and connections" in kid language, and so we use patterns to discuss connections in our world with numbers and shapes, but way more so now in literature! We are just starting our discussion about books that have patterns using the calendar as our reference point. I shared this on fb!
    - Leslie @KindergartenWorks

  3. I completely agree. Was discussing this in a math meeting the other day. It looks like they just forgot about patterns completely, but I agree that it is an essential building block for math in K. I will continue to teach it.

  4. I think we need to realize that patterns are not just a math concept. Common Core, from what I understand, wants to focus on conceptual understandings...which transfers to further grades and the understanding of, for example, fractions, and algebraic computations...which one must perceive and visualize before moving forward toward understanding more complex math concepts.

  5. We are adopting them in Math starting next September. Oy. I think they expect things like calendar and patterns to just "happen" as part of the day...not as part of the curriculum. We started using Go Math this year, which is supposedly Common Core. Money is in the Kind & 1st grade books. :)

  6. I teach Kindergarten in California and many of us are concerned also. Patterns should be part of the standards in math, science and literature because it applies to all three. It cannot be assumed that students will transfer the concept. The students being the most important piece, it is also important as a matter of professional communication. If we the standards are the basis for communicating why we are doing what we are doing, then key features cannot be left out. Principals are generally not experts in every grade level and therefore, must evaluate based on the standards.

    So, can we affect a change in the standards?

  7. Hi Kerri!

    I just linked back to your post on my new blog, A Dot Does a Lot! I totally agree with you that patterns are an essential foundational skill and should be taught in Kindergarten.

    I would love for you to come read my post!


  8. Patterns ARE actually part of the Common Core Standards look in your Mathematical Practices. There are patterns in counting and writing numbers to 100, patterns in graphs, patterns in the seasons, patterns in the calendar. Patterns in number +1, patterns in stories, patterns in animal life cycles and skin coverings. Last year our team was torn too and decided to still teach about patterning. Since we must list the CCS in our plans, I dug around in the CCS and Mathematical Practices until I found something the team agreed with that was pattern related. I can't remember the exact numbers now but I think it is in MP7 and MP8. So keeep on patterning.