Monday, November 16, 2015

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I See a Pattern Here by Bruce Goldstone is terrific!

It’s terrific because it’s easy on the eyes, interactive and inviting, approachable, interesting and fun, giving us lots of insights into patterns.

It starts out with the basics of what makes a pattern.  Sharp, bright photographs of patterns found in nature, on fabrics, household objects, architecture, and art convey that patterns can be found anywhere.

The variations to be found between patterns are broken down and, when appropriate, translated into ‘Mathspeak’.  These are the terms used by mathematicians to describe patterns.  For example, moving or sliding a shape in a direction (left, right, up or down) from the original is called a translation. When the same shape is used over and over by changes sizes that’s called scaling.

I loved the pages that included a classic quilt pattern called the Sawtooth Star and demonstrated how colour plays a role in how elements of the pattern can pop out and become much more noticeable.  Combining colours and shapes provides almost endless arrangements.

Bruce Goldstone has done a wonderful job (like most of his books) laying out the basics and the variations to be found in pattern. This will be a very useful book in elementary math classrooms when studying patterns, symmetry and geometry. I recommend it for grades 2-6.

Oh. The dots and dashes in the title line is Morse code for the word ‘patterns’.


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