# Patterns

Many people believe that all of mathematics is about finding, explaining and linking patterns. That is why patterns are included in the *Australian Curriculum: Mathematics*.

Patterns are especially important in early mathematics learning. They can be fun and creative, and they lead into many fundamental ideas.

- The concepts of multiplication, even and odd numbers, and area measurement all arise from repeating patterns.
- The concepts of division, fractions, time lines, measurement of length, and numeration all involve equal partitioning — which also relates to repeating patterns.
- Describing how the terms change in a growing pattern can lead to simple algebra.
- Exploration of spatial patterns leads to simple geometry; for example:
- concepts of symmetry, congruence, collinearity, sides and faces
- names of common shapes and their basic properties
- ideas such as tessellations and nets.

There are many topics in the *Australian Curriculum: Mathematics* that relate to patterns. You can download a list of content descriptions in *Patterns and their Applications in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics*.

## Big ideas

Thinking about patterns can be organised around some big ideas: patterns are everywhere, mathematical patterns are regular, patterns repeat, patterns can grow and patterns can be found in shapes.

## Misunderstandings

Students often have difficulty with some basic ideas about patterns. It is important that they learn these ideas well.

## Activities

Student activities that appear in other parts of the drawer have been collected here.

## Downloads

All downloadable files, such as student worksheets, teacher notes, activity templates and video transcripts, are available here.

## Acknowledgements

The Patterns drawer was written by a team from the Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University led by **A/Prof. Michael Mitchelmore**, School of Education.