Number patterns are sequences of numbers that exhibit some kind of regularity in their ordering. They are used in education to introduce children to more advanced mathematical concepts such as functions and number theory. KS2 stands for "Key Stage 2" and is an educational classification used in the United Kingdom that refers to material appropriate for children in the age range of 7 to 11 years.
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Cartoon Character Sequence Activity
This activity is designed to introduce the idea of number patterns using nonintimidating patterned sequences of cartoon characters. For example, you could create a sequence that has Mickey Mouse, then Bart Simpson, then Mickey Mouse, and ask students what they think the next character in the sequence will be.
Percussion Instrument Activity
This activity uses patterns of sound to develop understanding of number patterns. Using a drum or similar percussive instrument tap out a regular pattern of beats. For example you could have one beat, then three beats, then five beats, and then ask the students to guess what the next set of drumbeats will be in the sequence.
Symbol Pattern Activity
On a whiteboard or pad of paper, draw sequences of familiar shapes with "missing shapes" whose identity the students have to guess. Examples include the sequence: triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, with at least one of the sequence of shapes blanked out.
Missing Number Game
Once the idea of patterns and sequences has been introduced, sequences of actual numbers can be used. These can be introduced in the form of a "game" in which various number sequences are shown with particular numbers missing. Examples include the five times tables plus one, the first four numbers of which would be 6, 11, 16, and 21. The game is played with the entire class asked to find the missing number.
Maths Partner Number Pattern Game
For more advanced students, once they have been introduced to the idea of number patterns they can be put into pairs and asked to create their own number patterns and challenge their partners to correctly choose the missing number.
There are many number-pattern worksheets available on the web and in teaching packs. These number-pattern worksheets can be set for homework or filled in during class.
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