#### Mathematics is:

** not** a bunch of isolated skills and procedures. Mathematics is everywhere and most of what we see is a combination of different concepts. A lot of mathematics relates to other subjects like science, art, and music. Most importantly, math relates to things we do in the real world every day. Connections make mathematics easier for students to understand because they allow students to apply common rules to many different things.

Patterns are things that repeat; relationships are things that are connected by some kind of reason. They are important because they help us understand the underlying structure of things; they help us feel confident and capable of knowing what will come next, even when we can’t see it yet. Patterns and relationships are found in music, art, and clothing, as well as in other aspects of math such as counting and geometry. Understanding patterns and relationships means understanding rhythm and repetition as well as ordering from shortest to longest, smallest to largest, sorting, and categorizing.

Problem solving is key in being able to do all other aspects of mathematics. Through problem solving, students learn that there are many different ways to solve a problem and that more than one answer is possible. It involves the ability to explore, think through an issue, and reason logically to solve routine as well as nonroutine problems. In addition to helping with mathematical thinking, this activity builds language and social skills such as working together.

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