My original idea for apple patterns was to have the kids color their own apples, but I was a little worried with how those would turn out, and how long their attention spans would last. Then, I found these in my box of teacher supplies. I'd been looking for a use for them and I'm pretty sure you could find them easily at Target or Walmart right now.
To prepare the apples for patterns, I left some alone...
added "bite marks" to some
and added worms to the rest.
After giving the kids some "exploration time" (time to play with the apples), we settled in and made some patterns together. This was much more successful for the older kids, but the younger ones tried (and were so cute!) picking out which apples they thought would come next.
Although they stuck with me through the patterns, the little guys really loved sorting the apples. I set up the three groups with them and then gave them a large pile of mixed up apples. They focused very intently on sorting their pile into the correct groups. Then, we counted how many apples were in each group and worked on our math vocabulary. (Which group has the most? Which one has the least? How many more worm apples do you have than whole apples?)
All in all, it was a great success....for about 20 minutes :)