Sunday, November 21, 2010


In the past few months we have been exploring a wide array of math concepts including geometry, counting, even/odd numbers, measuring, and patterns.

These concepts are presented using various modes including stories, discussions, manipulative materials, as well as paper and pencil tasks.

It is difficult to give an example of a typical math lesson because the lessons are as varied as the topics.

There is, however, a general itinerary for the math hour.

Usually, we start with some type of movement activity such as counting down exercises, "Touch you toes 10 times, nod your head 9 times...". Next I present the idea(s) for the morning, and then we do some related hands-on activities.

The math hour concludes with the children working on a few pages in our Singapore Math workbooks.

As children complete the work in their books, they can work independently or with friends, exploring various mathematic materials; as examples building with blocks, developing patterns, examining shapes, or weighing objects.

As with all subjects, I try to integrate several subject areas into the lesson. I include reading, writing, and arithmetic together. At least once a week the children practice writing numbers from 1 to 10. I try to find books and poems relating to the topic. For example: when we were learning about shapes we practiced reading the poem Shapes by Shel Silverstein.

We also practice using deductive reasoning. For instance, the children worked in groups weighing objects. First they estimated how many pennies they thought a plastic bear weighed. They tested their hypotheses and then used this information to try and guess how much a smaller bear would weigh.

During math the children have the opportunity to work independently and in small groups. We often talk about how everyone comes to class with different skills and knowing different things. Being part of the class means we work and learn together.

1 comment:

Fran Loosen said...

You are so amazing, Elaine! I remember when you did the graphing exercises with D's class. I just kept thinking "they are learning graphing in kindergarten?" I love that you believe that kids can really get these concepts...and they do! Thank you for all you do.