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Math Snack: Calendar Patterns
Playful, no-preparation math activities for all ages
A new year is a great time to investigate patterns on the calendar. If you don’t have a printable planner, then download your favorite calendar style. Let’s play…
Young children can use the calendar as a number line to do addition and subtraction beyond what they might normally handle. Look for addition and subtraction patterns. 3+5=? Now go to 13+5, and 23+5. What do you notice? What do 11-7, 21-7, and 31-7 have in common? Take turns finding and describing patterns.
Older children can practice their times tables. Mark the numbers you hit when you count by 2. What pattern do they make? Make the counting-by-3 pattern, or mark the 7s, etc. Which counting-by patterns are your favorites? What happens if you start at a weird number, like counting by 6s but starting at 5?
Try some of Cynthia Lanius’s algebra calendar puzzles. Can you explain why they work? What other patterns can you discover?