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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Recognizing Patterns is a First Step to Success in Reading and Math

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Patterns are part of our daily life!

Some patterns are visual; such as the way tiles are placed on a floor. Some patterns are auditory, like "e-i, e-i, o" in the song "Old MacDonald Had A Farm." We all, unconsciously, follow patterns, like our morning routine or our daily work schedule.

Patterns are an important learning tool for young children. Patterns are organized, repetitive, and predictable. Recognizing and understanding patterns gives a child the confidence to determine what will come next. Being able to predict what comes next, in both reading and math, leads to greater comprehension. And that is what learning and building academic skills is all about!

A good example of a reading pattern is what the wolf repeatedly says in "The Three Little Pigs." ("So I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.")

A good example of a math pattern is recognizing odd and even numbers.

Patterns are everywhere and they're fun! Once your child discovers patterns he or she will see them in almost everything!


#1 Julie 2009-08-19 12:56
Thank you for bringing awareness to the concept of patterns in reading, mathematics, and beyond! As a future teacher, I may not have given this concept as much attention as it deserves. I'm sure that by teaching young children to look for these patterns, students will become critical thinkers who can do more than just memorize information. Please keep the great ideas coming!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?