Many people are of the opinion that mathematics is only about numbers and number operations, and thus myths related to who can do mathematics and who cannot, abound. It is possible that children may struggle with numbers, but it is hard to believe that there could be a child who doesn’t recognize patterns. We see children creating patterns all the time using stones, sticks, leaves, flowers, finger prints, vegetable carvings, rubber stamp impressions and also mathematical shapes.

David Horsburgh, the foremost practioner of Activity Based Learning in India, in his book Thinking & Doing illustrates how it is possible to shift the agency into the hands of the learners, teacher becoming almost a redundant facilitator in the background.

Here is an annotated excerpt of 10 pages from that celebrated book.

Since they are introduced together, one frequently finds children mixing up the two concepts. Also formulae for arriving at these measures are brought in too quickly - well before the concepts are fully understood. One can avoid this problem by spacing out these two concepts. Area could be explored in the first stage as it occurs frequently in a child's everyday experiences.

Here's a video on finding shapes & patterns in an innocent-looking plug socket.

Here are some innovative number activities for children that will make them work physically and mentally. And while they are at it, they will be having a lot of fun!

This worksheet will help students identify and distinguish between physical and chemical processes.

The identification of patterns is central to mathematics. Starting with simple patterns of repeating shapes, the child can move on to more complex patterns involving shapes as well as numbers. Playing with patterns gives immense joy to the child. Understanding, visualizing, and predicting patterns is very much central to appreciating the beauty of mathematics. The National Curriculum Framework 2005 stresses on this fact.

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