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Practising Mathematics: Developing the mathematician as well as the mathematics

How can your students work like mathematicians?

An engaging selection of tasks contain activities from many areas of mathematics including: Number work, Ratio and Proportion, Algebra, Geometry, Probably and Statistics.


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Home > Early Years > Starting Points > Pattern: Number and Algebra

Pattern: Number and Algebra


Making the connections

Helping students to build knowledge and make connections between number and pattern in the early years.

Webinar resources | PowerPoint | Webinar | 

Concepts children will experience include:

  • Using the colour to make a pattern
  • Sharing and describing patterns
  • Creating, and analysing patterns
  • Extending patterns

Ideally teachers will  make connections with aspects of the children’s world through the use of story, real life examples and stimulus materials. Before students can copy, continue or create patterns, they need to know what pattern is.

Students can explore the world  outside the classroom and discover patterns in their environment.


  • Take photos to  record can be made so that students can later sort, describe and share the patterns children have found.They also act as a stimulus for when children begin to create their own patterns.
  • Draw on children's prior knowledge through class discussion to begin to define the word ‘pattern’. There is also a video describing and demonstrating pattern available on Scootle
  • Ask students to describe their patterns is a good precursor for number work that follows in later years

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics  

  • provides the skills for students to be confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics
  • enables students to investigate, represent and interpret situations both at school and in their lives out of school
  • focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem solving.

These describe the actions in which students can engage whilst learning the content and are incorporated into the content descriptions.  Introductory year level statements are included at the beginning of each year level to accentuate where the proficiencies are evident in the content descriptions.