My husband was delighted to discover while reading a childrens magazine to A. that she could recognize a pattern sequence and determine what object would come next in the sequence. I was excited to make this activity to further her skills in that area!
I started out by making four sequences out of foam silhouettes, each with 5 objects in a pattern. One sequence has only 1 object but in 2 different alternating colors (c/c/c/c/_, 1 sequence has 2 different objects in alternating order (A/B/A/B/A/_, 1 sequence has 2 different objects in the order of: A/A/B/A/A/_, and the last sequence has 3 different objects in the order of: A/B/C/A/B/_. I provided only one answer for each sequence on a separate blue foam square. She then has to put the foam answer square in the spot where the blue box is located at the end of the sequence.
I first introduced the activity by laying all of the pattern sheets out at once and the answer squares in a basket on the work mat. I made it both a cognitive and language activity because it seemed to me that in order for her to understand the sequence she would need me to demonstrate by naming each object while touching it as I went along the pattern from left to right. "barn, barn, pig (pause) barn, barn____" " I wonder what comes next". I soon realized that with all of the sheets out at once it was too chaotic and she had trouble recognizing the pattern. As soon as we did only one at a time on the work mat she had no problem deducing the pattern sequence.
I can see almost endless possibilities for extensions of this activity. I plan on next adding in too many answer squares so that the probability of guessing correctly is very small. I will combine more than one object with more than one color for each object and also increase the number of objects and the length of the pattern so as to make the patterns more and more difficult. I wonder if introducing new words by making new patterns with objects that are new to A.-girl would be good, or would I be combining too many things into one activity?!
Here's A.-girl doing a classic old favorite; her nesting/stacking boxes. She probably brings these out on a regular biweekly basis. They are a regular fixture in the living/montessori room (yes the montessori area is in the living room, we live in a VERY small area!) even though they take up a lot of room as when the are stacked up they make a beautiful sculptural piece. realized after introducing the Recognizing a Pattern Sequence activity that this activity actually incorporates pattern recognition because the boxes are colored in a certain sequence which is repeated. ie: orange, red, purple, dk blue, lt. blue, green and repeat. I now wonder if she was paying attention to more than just the size of each box when fitting them together or was she also looking for the correct color in the sequence? It couldn't have hurt in preparing her for her new Recognizing a Pattern Sequence activity!