Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Translating Patterns into Different Mediums

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.

 After viewing the numbers, even more patterns began to appear. When reading the numbers down they count 1,2,3,4,5; and when reading the middle column upwards, it counts by odd numbers - 1,3,5,7,9.

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.

 Although we have lots of Cuisenaire Rods, we did run out during this activity. Therefore, translating the patterns into numbers allowed us to find even more. The picture below shows a partial list.

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.

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