Patterner AB

Recognizes, describes, and builds repeating ABAB patterns. These involve the following, which many children learn in this order, although this can vary by the task*.
• Fixes AB:  Fills in the missing element of an ABAB pattern.
• Duplicates AB:  Duplicates ABABAB pattern (at first may have to work close to the model pattern, but eventually can build the same pattern away from the model pattern or when the model is out of sight).
• Extends AB: Extends AB patterns to add multiple units to the end of the pattern. This is easier for children if the pattern ends with a complete unit, but they eventually learn to extend those that end with a partial unit.
    -For example, patterns represented by two attributes of change (shape and color) are easier than those represented by just one (e.g., orientation).


You may see this:

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Other Examples:

  • Given objects in a row with one missing, ABAB_BAB, identifies and fills in the missing element.
  • Given objects in a row, ABABAB, makes their own ABABAB row in a different location.
  • Given objects in a row, ABABAB, adds "ABAB" to the end of the row.

Help your student become a(n) Patterner AB

Activities ask children to fix, duplicate, and extend the simplest repeating patterns, AB. Music and rhythms can also help establish a firm foundation for later patterning. Progress to calling these "ABABAB" patterns.

Special Thanks To

Institute of Education Sciences
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.