Paper plate patterns: preschool teachers working as a community of practice

Susan Gifford, Helen Thouless

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Young children’s patterning, defined as ‘finding a predictable sequence’, has been
identified as significant for later mathematical achievement, while proving amenable
to amelioration. This study examines how English teachers of three- to five-year-olds
engaged in a collaborative project designed to develop their children’s pattern
awareness. The teachers and researchers formed a community of practice that enabled
the teachers to share and develop their pedagogical practice. This paper illustrates
one example of how the teachers worked together to change their practice around
border patterns; as their collaboration developed they produced interim stages in the
teaching sequence that fostered children’s reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventPME43 - Pretoria , South Africa
Duration: 9 Jul 201912 Jul 2019
Conference number: 43


Country/TerritorySouth Africa


  • pattern awareness
  • community of practice
  • early years mathematics

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