Thursday, December 9, 2010

Math books coming home

The children are very excited to finish their first math books.  Friday afternoon they will bring home their books.  As you look at the books, you might think,  "this looks too easy for my child".  Please realize that this is only a part of the math curriculum.  At this point in the year, all the children are working on the same 3 or 4 pages.  We generally spend about 10 minutes a day doing math books.  (Some children spend more time because they like to color the pictures.)

Most of the concepts introduced are very familiar for the children.  The difficult part of the process is following directions. We read and talk about the instructions together.  Inevitably, right after we go through the instructions of what to do, I will hear cries of, "what are we supposed to do on this page?".  I remind myself daily, this is an important part of the process and each day it will get easier.
You might be wondering what else goes on during math, and how does it relate to the math books?

Here is an example from this week. The last few units in the books have to do with same concept, more and less.  Before working in their books I introduced the math symbols that go along with these concepts, =, >, and <.  The children had cards with the signs on them.  They made two piles of blocks and put the correct sign in between.  We played the "number line" game. I tell the children I am thinking of a number is greater than 0 and less than 50.  They make guesses to narrow the choices till someone guess the correct number. 

How many pennies to balance a bear?
How long is this in inches
and in centimeters
Here are some more examples from past units:

During the measuring units, the children used various measuring tools: rulers, yard/meter sticks, tape measures, balance scales, and weight scale.
When we were talking about capacity the children worked in groups.  Each child got a turn finding a receptacle.  Everyone made a guess on the capacity of the container and then figured out the actual capacity.  The results were recorded on a chart.

Joanna came into the room during this activity and whispered, "they are being very precise".  Precision in this activity was not as important as working together as a team and practice counting and writing down results. 

Last but not least, reading and literature is included any chance it can fit.  For example, when we were looking at shapes, the children took turns reading Shel Silverstein's poem, Shapes.  

1 comment:

Fran Loosen said...

Oh Elaine, I was in the school the morning that they finished! The children were all clamoring around me, wanting to talk about finishing the books and waiving them in the air to show how proud they were. We had lots of high fives :). They are such an amazing group of children and they are so enjoying your journey!