It’s time for our annual summer book study with Kindergarten Chaos! This year Abbie and I decided to a math book since there is so much information coming at us related to literacy and SOR. We thought we could all benefit from a summer of learning about math instruction! The book we chose is Exploring Mathematics Through Play In The Early Childhood Classroom.
The book is sold out on Amazon but it’s available for Kindle and on Google Books!
Here are my takeaways:
What Is Play?
The first thing I want to address is this: no one is expecting teachers to build math kits or backpacks for students. I totally understand the idea and absolutely see the benefit of this. BUT real life ya’ll. It’s another thing. It’s a cost that we most likely have to pocket. I do remember during virtual I scavenged my room for items to send home for virtual learning so that’s an option too but again…it’s not realistic for many of us. And that’s ok! If anyone has done this please share how you did it so you can help others who might want to do it.
The opening story about kids playing on the seesaw at recess was such an aha moment. And for me, it was a very powerful example of how play and math are everywhere. Think about how much we see our kids doing on the playground and how we could bring that into our math lessons. The seesaw is balanced and using that to explain the equals sign is so powerful but so genius. This was an immediate takeaway: math is everywhere so we need to look at life through a math lens. Think about this: as teachers, we are always looking at things through a literacy lens (environmental print, etc) so why not look at life so we can see opportunities for math content?
Math And Families
I love this section because I think it’s so important to include families in our learning whenever we can. But we need to keep it easy. Yes, you can send home a recipe for playdough but that’s a big ask for many families. And it’s ok to send those types of things homes with no expectations.
One thing we did this year that worked out great for family involvement was a 3D scavenger hunt. We did the 3D shape hunt at school and I sent a message to families asking them to continue the challenge. The kids knew to go home and find 3D shapes so I asked the families to send me pictures. I got so many pictures of kids with 3D shapes. The feedback was awesome.
Dice, board games, and everyday items should be a constant part of our play and math instruction. Most kids are familiar with board games and dice so that can open the door to some great math lessons such as counting, subitizing, one-to-one correspondence and so many more!
And finally, keep it relevant! The author suggests a family survey and a community inventory so you know what kinds of things kids experience and play with that can bring in math concepts! Kids probably go to the grocery store so tie that into your math. My students go to Chuck E. Cheese so much so that’s a great opportunity to learn about money, quantities, subtraction, etc. When we make learning relevant the learning sticks!