Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Magnet Board Math: Pattern Block Puzzles

I'm beginning to doubt my intelligence.

For years I have put pattern blocks in front of my kids only to have them slide all over the place on the block puzzle sheets. I had a DUH moment and finally gave them a magnet board (this could be a cookie sheet) to STICK the puzzle on while they used MAGNETIC pattern blocks to complete the puzzle.

My son explored symmetry in the process. One page asked him to complete patterns "so that the dotted line becomes a Line of Symmetry." You'll see (right) that he made a lovely pattern WITH symmetry, but didn't pay attention to the dotted line/line of symmetry. We had a good discussion about "line of symmetry" and used a ruler to help (below.) This was a nice extension to our symmetry lessons with Magic Mirrors that I'll show you later this week.

Note on materials: I own several different pattern block books: Pattern Block Problems for Primary People, Patternables and Magnetic Pattern Blocks. (That last one should have given me a clue!) I took all the pages out of the first two books, slipped each page into a plastic sleeve, and put them all into a 3-ring binder. This allows multiple children to use materials at once; I just pull out a page or two at a time.


  1. I need to get out my magnetic pattern blocks.

  2. Anna usually puts "picture of the week" on the fridge with her magnetic block. She also enjoyed trying problems from the book Math Discoveries with Pattern Blocks - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1564510883/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=httpteachingy-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=1564510883


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