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Math is All Around Us!

November 4, 2020 | Kristen Jordan

There are many ways in which math happens daily in our classroom. We are working on counting and recognizing numbers in many different places.

Sometimes through activities during activity time.

 

Sometimes through real life problems:

Most mornings, we count to see who is at school. If anyone is missing, we try to use strategies to figure out how many are there.

“If there are 9 children in our class, and we have 5 rakes, how many children will have to wait a turn for a rake?”

“How many children are wearing stripes?  How many are not wearing stripes?  Which group has more children?”

Counting, ordering, sorting, and comparing are all mathematical concepts that are very important.

Another area of mathematical thinking that has been a big topic in the Trees Class recently is patterns!

Patterns are delightful!  But why are patterns important? Because they are a crucial element in mathematical development and help with the algebraic thinking and problem-solving children will always need.  A pattern is something that repeats in a logical way.  Patterns can help children make predictions as they begin to think about what comes next.

And children love them!

We have been helping children to notice patterns around them. We listen for patterns in songs, rhymes, words, and books.  We can make patterns with our bodies (clapping and stomping) and with our voices (saying words in patterns).  

We see patterns all around us.  The children have been getting especially excited about wearing and noticing patterns in their clothing!  

We have been working on “reading” patterns in their clothing and in other places.

It can be challenging to decide if something is a pattern or a design. And sometimes designs have patterns inside them!

After lots of practice noticing, talking about, and reading patterns, children have discovered that a pattern is a “unit” that repeats over and over and over.  

We are continuing to search for, notice, read and make our own patterns using a variety of materials.    You will likely have fun at home with your child noticing and making patterns as well!  

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Trees Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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