November 10, 2021 | Kristen Jordan
All year, children in the Rivers Class have been engaged in activities that involve mathematical thinking. Some of them are obvious, like puzzles with numbers.
Others may be less apparent, like noticing shapes during snack time.
“My crackers are square! So is that block!”
“The water bottle is a circle!”
Three dimensional shapes have been constructed at the light table as children work with and figure out how geometric shapes fit together.
Each morning, children build with blocks that are geometric shapes. Working with blocks helps to develop spatial awareness, and children begin to notice patterns, as they learn which pieces work together. Their minds are engaging in mathematical thinking as they build.
Even noticing the design and symmetry in leaves is a way of thinking mathematically.
And children have been very busy sorting and counting many different items.
Children have sorted by color,
and by texture (rough/smooth).
A popular activity was sorting the many treasures children have brought in from the park into categories: sticks, leaves, seeds, rocks, bark, and feathers.
Once things are sorted, it is also possible to consider how different amounts compare:
“We have the most leaves.”
“We only have 1 seed.”
Sorting and organizing often makes it easier to count the exact number of items. There has been lots of counting going on! We have counted how many children are in the class and how many children are missing. We have counted how many bears we have.
Children have played a game called “Grab and Count” where they close their eyes, grab a handful of the item, then sort and count it. Children have been practicing counting many objects, like rocks and beads and pumpkins and chairs.
For any item they count, children practice strategies to help count carefully. First, they line up the items so they are organized. Next, children touch and move each thing as they count, saying one number at a time to help keep track. It can be hard to slow down and say the number only as you touch the object! But it helps to make sure that you know how many you have.
Every day around us, there are opportunities to develop mathematical minds!
What might you sort or count with your child at home?