Saturday, 26 July 2008

Sectors of Math - Patterns (Factual part)

In classifying sectors of math, I would identify the factual part consisting of patterns recognition as a necessary skill needed.

Pattern mentioned here refers to the numerical or pictorial sequence that tests one's intelligence.

This patterns sector in math is important because it trains learners in relating things with some logic or reason, and predicting future events.

It also trains the brain to plan base on previous data available. As such, recognizing pattern is challenging and can easily create interest in math.

Examples of pattern recognizing and its application are:

a) sorting items from smallest to biggest (production line)
b) sorting items from shortest to longest (production line)
c) music rhythm (3 beat, 4 beat)
d) image processing, image recognition and image recovery (from the group of pixels identified )e) error correction in data transmission (from the sequence of received data)

What can be done to enhance this Pattern sector of math education?

A few suggestions are listed below for reference:
1) Figuring out Jigsaw puzzles through recognizing and matching colour and shape properties
2) Listening to music and identifying the beats (anticipating skill)
3) Doing up decorative accessories, like necklace, to be creative in pattern sequencing
4) Playing Number sequence quiz (example: 3, 5, 8, ___ , 17, 23)
5) Checking Calendar date and weeks information (a fixed pattern of days)
6) Talking about real world application related to pattern issue (link to actual examples to let learners know of usefulness of math)

Pattern recognizing is important in math learning as it trains the mind to handle real world issue.

Through learning this pattern sector, math students will have an advantage when solving math questions, since they are able to plan the steps of the solution given the available information.

From the available information in the math questions, they can anticipate or deduce the next step to take, applying the skill learned in recognizing number pattern sequence.

It is not the math content that is the focus, but the skill in planning forward that is important.

Thus this factual part of the math education is critical and prepares the learners for future math challenges.

To read an overview of this math topic, refer to Numerous Sectors of Math for details.


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