Friday, October 29, 2010

Math Moments

In our classroom at any time during the day, the potential for 'math moments' exists. The room is one big learning center where strands of math discovery are continually being woven. Children learn to make sense of their world through everyday experiences.

To stimulate a math moment, we use a variety of materials and ideas to create an environment in which children explore math concepts. In our math center we keep games, puzzles, matching and guessing games, dominoes, cards, pattern blocks, and collections of objects that give children opportunities to recognize numbers and build on math skills such as patterning, sorting, and measuring.

But math moments do not occur only in our math center. They occur everywhere in our room. In the construction area children use language such as long, short, small, and tall to describe their creations. When eating together at the snack table children pass out one napkin per child. When we take attendance we count how many children came to school and keep track of how many days have passed in the month. When we take a class vote on what book to read or what to turn our dramatic arts center into our children compare quantities to see what wins the vote.

Parents can accept the challenge to find math moments at home or around town. With your child, identify numbers and shapes in your junk mail. As you cook or do errands together, you can make comments or ask questions that encourage meaningful math understandings. For example you can ask your child, "We need a bottle of juice for each person in the family. How many should we buy?" All of these moments will add up to a very rich mathematical understand for your child.
Sorting by colour; Comparing quantity of each colour
Matching objects to numerals; sorting by quantity; composing quantities with various amounts
Estimating quantities
Exploring shape and design; puzzles
Exploring shape and design
Working with numbers
Creating with 2-D shapes

Creating patterns with building materials.

Keeping track of each team's points in a game

How many cubes tall to reach the ceiling?

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