What are patterns? Some of the phrases that define patterns in the dictionary as relevant to this post are: “repeated design”, “recurring characteristic”, “a model proposed for imitation”, and “consistent trait that serves as a model for predicting future behavior”.
Looking at patterns as a math concept, children are taught to sort or to categorize as early as in preschool. Separating red blocks from blue blocks or circles from squares. This separation is a form of patterning. In elementary school, children are then taught to look for patterns in a string of objects, ex: a turtle, a cat, a turtle, a cat, etc. OR two turtles, one cat, two turtles, one cat, etc. adding a little bit of a challenge each time by mixing up the objects and/or sequencing.
The next stage is to look for number patterns, like counting in multiples of 2 or multiples of 5. Again adding a bit of challenge here, a “rule” is defined as something that makes the number increase or decrease using the same “rule” each time. For example 1, 4, 7, 10,… where the “rule” is to “add 3 to each number” to get the next. The example 1, 4, 10, 22,…, requires a little bit more thinking and manipulating the numbers to define the “rule” as “multiply (or double) each number by 2 and then add 2″. This brings us to upper middle school and high school where Algebra and eventually Calculus is introduced. The language changes and rule is now called a function and the mind is trained to think algebraically when defining a function. So instead of saying “add 3 to each number”, we define the function as n + 3 and instead of “multiply (or double) each number by 2 and then add 2″, the function is defined as 2n + 2.
Of course the skill of identifying and recognizing patterns goes beyond the field of mathematics. Patterning is key in the creation of fabric, tiles, carpets, and anything else that has a designing aspect and repetition to it. Science majors may study symmetry in a molecule and patterns in space. A stock trader analyzes trends or patterns in the stock market. Predictions in the field of meteorology, health, real estate, politics, etc. are made based on patterns observed. Human behavior is analyzed based on patterns in moods. This list could go on and on!
Looking back at the various definitions of patterns in the dictionary, and the examples above, the common thread is not only repetition but a characteristic or rule that defines this repetition. And that is the important concept to get across to children at a very young age when teaching them to recognize and continue a patterning sequence. KidsAndBeyond’s latest app Patterns Match Basic for kids ages 3 to 10, with 6 levels of play, is an app that gets children off the ground with pattern recognition.
Watch a sneak preview of Map My Globe Full to be released shortly!
Too often, the acquisition of geography knowledge for children consists of rote memorization. Where do countries lie on a map and what is the capital of countries around the world, are all facts that children learn, but do not necessarily process. There is little engagement with and excitement about what is being learned. KidsAndBeyond is making geography come to life, with its newest app, for children in grades 3 and above: Map My Globe Full!
Using our free app, Map My Globe HD as a springboard, Map My Globe Full brings exciting and enriching facts about every country in our world to life! Want to know popular landmarks in Egypt? Or what animals are native to the United States? How about the national languages of India? Map My Globe gives you this information, and much, much more! Rich, vibrant and accurate illustrations of each asset allow children to imagine that they are experiencing landmarks and meeting animals from each country first-hand. Voiceover recordings tell users the capital city, currency, national language(s), and bordering countries of each country. Users can also read and see illustrations of interesting fun facts like landmarks, animals, and music about each place! For the younger user that cannot read, what a great opportunity for parents to get involved. Users can then test their knowledge of the fun facts by trying to beat the Quiz Master. Beat each quiz to unlock the next level, and see if you can tackle all five!
The mapping section of the app asks users to drag and drop each country from every continent into its correct place. Play easy, moderate, or challenge mode, and track your scores to earn more points. Play multi-player and compare your best scores to those of your friends! As you earn points, you can redeem your points for fun in-app prizes. If you gain the maximum number of points, you will be named the geography champion and awarded a certificate! Print the certificate to stick on your refrigerator or email it to a loved one!
With its fun, engaging interface and educational value, Map My Globe Full is clearly a geography app unlike any other app that is currently available. Download it now to get your child excited about learning, and soon you will have a geography expert in your midst!