chapter  7
Look for Structure
Pages 12

Once young children learn how to recognize patterns they begin to point out patterns in their environment including in their classroom and in their home. However these are typically visual patterns such as a sequence of red and blue cubes or repeating shapes on a curtain. Teachers have to guide their students toward recognition of patterns and structure in other aspects of mathematics: digits end in 5 then 0 when skip counting by fives; the number of sides of a polygon increase when the number of angles increase. As children begin to recognize these patterns and structure they will begin to use them as shortcuts to become more efficient at problem solving.