FAQ: Patterns aren't even in the Common Core. Why should we teach this unit?

Types of patterns (AB, ABC, etc.) are not in the Common Core Standards. However, this unit provides a foundation for number patterns and skip counting, which is foundational in the Common Core in future grades.
Through this unit, students’ work supports:
K.CC.4, K.CC.5 as they count
K.G.1 as they discuss the pattern block shapes.

In addition, the work in this unit provides students the opportunity to engage in practice #7.

7 Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression x2 + 9x + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 – 3(xy)2 as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers x and y.

Unit Suggestions for Making Deeper Connections to the Common Core


Ask students to describe pattern-block patterns using the number of sides. For example, a triangle-square pattern could also be described as 3-sides, 4-sides, 3-sides, etc.

Have students explore patterns on the tens frame.





Teaching Note: Describing Relative Position
What’s Missing? offers another chance to observe and talk with students about position and proximity. Ask them to describe the
arrangement of objects and how they are remembering what’s been taken away. Also, model the use of such language yourself. For example:
I know the yellow crayon was next to the yellow bear, so I think there’s a crayon in the bag. Do you remember what was below the yellow tile? Use this game as an opportunity to continue introducing, illustrating, and assessing students’ understanding of phrases and words that describe relative position (e.g., above, below, next to).
Ongoing Assessments for Unit 3