Saturday, December 13, 2014

Finding Patterns Using Circles

Looking for multiplication lessons for my Grade 2's, I came across an interesting way to show multiplication shapes within circles. Since I have a combined class, I thought this could work with both multiplication and skip counting (not saying that multiplication is skip counting though).

I had the following shape ready on the whiteboard when the students came in. 

Many students guessed it was a clock. Then one observant student said it wasn't, and another justified it by saying that clocks don't have 0's on them.

I asked them what they thought the shape they could get by counting by ones and connecting the dots.

They had no idea what I was talking about, so I modeled.

Then they got it. 

We went around the circle together on the white board.

I gave them a sheet with six circles prepared on it and asked them to go through the numbers as I did with the ones. That was a little hard to understand, so I modeled a few lines counting by twos for them.

The second graders were able to continue by themselves, and I worked with the first graders for a little bit allowing the ones with more confidence to leave the smaller group I was working with.

This was one of those lessons where all the students were engaged, working at their own pace, and the task was in everyone's zone of proximal development

A few second graders finished early so I gave them this extension problem. 

Tell me what shape you will get if you count by 8's. What is the relationship with the patterns?

Note: I have been writing drafts of blog posts, but never getting back to them. This post was to get me back into reflecting.


  1. When I was in college, we had to make a math game or manipulative to use in teaching. I made a "Digit Disc" manipulative like your circles using old CDs with push pins I drilled into place with a string tied around the 0. It's a very cool way to see the patterns in multiplication. Math is visual!

  2. I would like to see it if you have an example!