# Recognizing Pattern: The Useful Ability in Doing Math Problems

Have you in a situation where your children need much time doing math worksheet which you think is quite easy to do by them as they’ve done and practiced it many times? The worksheet example is like in the picture below!

In the worksheet above, children can actually answer  some additions without having to add all of the addition one by one. Some children can do it after they do addition at least  three numbers. They can predict the answer of the next addition. It’s because they figure out that the answer for the next addition is the next number in the number sequence. Hence, there are some children who can’t make the prediction. Though they have done that kind of worksheet many times. We may wonder why they can’t do that. If this happens to our children, there’s one possibility why they are not able to do it. It’s because they can’t recognize the pattern in the worksheet.

Children, who can predict the answer of the next question, realize (after they do the addition at least 3 or 4 numbers (It depends on children’s ability)) that there is pattern in the worksheet above. The pattern is the sequence of numbers on the column after plus sign. So, when they have to add one more to the the sequence of numbers, the answer is basically the sequence of numbers too. On the contrary, children who can’t predict the answer, do not realize the pattern. And this may lead to a question why they can’t see the pattern. There are some possibilities reasons for that:

1. They are still lack in the ability of recognizing pattern which may be caused by the lack of chance to practice recognizing and making pattern in previous age.
2. The lack of recognizing pattern of abstract thing. Number is something abstract as it actually a symbol which represent the amount of concrete things. Recognizing the pattern of symbol is more difficult than recognizing the pattern of concrete things as it requires more complex thinking process.

If the situation above happens to our children, do not force them to exercise the worksheet over and over. It’s better if we ask them to do activities which will improve their ability in recognizing pattern first. Here are the activities children can do:

1. Ask children to play the toys which will make them able to practice recognizing and making pattern.