We translated Cuisenaire Rod patterns into numbers.
Musical rhythms are commonly translated into numbers of beats and dancers count the musical beats when performing steps. Knitting patterns are written mathematically in charts. Translating patterns between the mediums of sound, image and number is an excellent skill for children to develop. There is so much application which frequently shows itself when crafts or hobbies involve patterns.
In addition to dance and music lessons, another way to develop this skill is with art. For this activity we began with a small cuisenaire rod pattern and wrote down the number equivalent lengths of the rods on paper.
A few days later the process was repeated with a variation. Using the 1, 2 and 3 cm long Cuisenaire Rods, we tried to see how many ways we could make 13. The number 13 had to be symmetric.
Translating patterns between mediums becomes easier with practice and is an interesting, creative way to develop mathematical skills.
In addition to this pattern translation activity, my math page contains links to several posts regarding mandala recreation with a compass and straight edge which is yet another way to develop this skill.