Our school uses Math Investigations as part of our math curriculum, and one of the early kindergarten lessons is to create an attendance stick. The goal is to help kids develop one to one correspondence in counting, as each child gets one cube added to the stick to show that they are at school.
For several years now I have used the attendance stick as an introduction to simple patterns. At first I let the kids pick any color cube they want. Then, after a few days, I choose the colors and ask the kids if they notice anything. (I create a pattern, and see if they notice!) Once they are used to the pattern concept, I begin a pattern, and ask each child what color will come next as I add their cube to the stick. This has been an easy and simple introduction to patterns.
Well I am always looking for useful ways to integrate SMART board technology into the classroom, and the attendance stick was a great opportunity! I created this notebook that allows us to build our attendance stick on the screen. I can model, or the kids can come up and drag their color cube on to the stick.
Each color square is infinitely cloned, so all you have to do is drag and drop, and a new cube appears each time. You can create any kind of pattern you want, challenge the kids to create a specific kind of pattern, or just see what they come up with. Depending on what they create, you can have great discussions on what is, or is not, a pattern.
One more feature that I like about doing this on the SMART board is that I can write above the cubes on the board to help them understand the pattern. For example, I might write A B A B above the cubes to help them understand that each color is represented by a letter.
You can also write the numbers above the cubes as you count to help students make that one to one connection.
You are welcome to download this notebook file for free by clicking here. Please let me know if you find any more uses for this file – I would love to learn new ways to use it!