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### Numeracy: What Classroom Teachers Should Know

What is numeracy in an Australian context?

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Home > Topdrawer > Patterns

# 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.

## Good teaching

How do you teach students about patterns?

## Assessment

How can we find out how much students know about patterns?

## Activities

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