Pattern Block Challenge

Welcome to the EOREN Elementary Pattern Block Challenge Page!

The Pattern Block Challenge is now closed. Thank you to the 142 teachers who participated across the EOREN region!

EOREN Pattern Block Challenge Purpose Statement

Our observations of distance learning over that past many months include that it limited students’ ability to work with hands-on resources, which is particularly important at the elementary grade levels. Student learning often leans into a progression of concrete, representational, and abstract experiences. At the elementary grade levels, concrete (hands-on) experiences are especially important in this progression. Many of those hands-on opportunities have been limited by distance learning.

Additionally, composing and decomposing numbers is an important component of developing number sense at early grade levels. The understanding of number composition and decomposition is supported by hands-on activities that allow students to visualize combining shapes and to see representations of how numbers can be joined, compared, or broken apart. Pattern blocks provide a clear means of allowing students to compose and decompose shapes – and they provide rich opportunities for the development of number sense.

Another regional consideration informing this challenge is that the virtual delivery of professional development (as opposed to in-person professional development) poses both limiting challenges and new opportunities, particularly in the Eastern Oregon REN, where geographical distance significantly limits the ability for regional educators to gather in person. For example, it is approximately 396 highway miles from Arthur D Hay Elementary School in Lake County to Enterprise Elementary School in Wallowa County – which represents approximately 7 hours of one-way travel.

Professional development – available to all educators – to support this challenge, is provided up front through the use of an introductory video and invitation on the website as well as a teacher’s guide. The newly adopted Oregon math content standards are also referenced in the challenge for each grade level. In addition, the challenge includes ongoing communication with educators who choose to participate.

The EOREN Elementary Pattern Block challenge addresses all 3 of these challenges:

  • It provides hands-on resources to teachers to use with their students.

  • It gives students an opportunity to compose and decompose numbers in rich ways as a means to support the development of number sense.

  • It provides a consistent PD opportunity and resources to educators across our vast region.

In addition, this challenge allows us to explore a new means of delivering virtual professional development through the combined use of hands-on resources, website, video, and classroom challenges that unite educators across our geographically diverse region.

We are excited to launch the Eastern Oregon Elementary Pattern Block Challenge.