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# We Are Mathematicians!

November 18, 2020 | Nathan Johnson

All year, the Rivers Class has been showing us that they are mathematicians…

Noticing patterns…

(collage, painting, collage, painting ….)

Counting how many bears they found…

noticing numbers that they see in books and in rhymes…

Counting them out on their fingers…

Counting what they find at the park, like berries and sticks…

… or seeing which stick is the longest!

Seeing what their own bodies fit inside …

Even just fitting things together builds children’s mathematical minds …

But now we have a

very big job:

We need to get ready to count baby food!

(They are already finding different ways to do it … check out the use of that stick)

(Keep sending them in!)

Now, counting objects is all about visual organization and recognizing patterns, so we warmed up our minds with some sorting activities…

Using rocks!

Sorting the BIG from the small…

The dark from the light…

The rough from the smooth…

Once they had warmed up their minds with a little bit of visual discrimination, they set to work!

Grabbing a few rocks … or shells.

Lining them up…

touching each one,

and counting them out loud.

Organizing what we are counting, and moving your finger slowly as you count, saying the numbers out loud, and keeping a record —

This is a big challenge,

and we have been practicing over and over.

As we said, mathematics in preschool is so very, very much more than counting.  Our work with puzzles, blocks, patterns, even rhymes & chants, are all developing our mathematical minds in a very substantial way.

But counting is so very, very fun!

What can you count with your child at home?

### Nathan Johnson

Early Childhood & Lower School Visual Art Teacher

Nathan Johnson graduated in 2004 from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (focusing on Illustration, Art History, and Puppetry), Theatre, and Elementary Education, followed by further time in Europe studying Art, and in Nova Scotia working with adults with developmental differences.

Happily back at his Alma mater (MSS class of 1995) Nathan has passionately committed his career to preserving the dignity and wonder of childhood. As children are more and more burdened with technology and privilege, he believes that in order for children to learn and grow, they must be given freedom within structure, choices with guidance, allowed to play, struggle, get dirty, and above all, to be taught that they are a beloved child of God.

When not in the classroom, Nathan can be found kayaking, camping, hosting a game night, wandering around New York City, making friends with strangers, and spending time with his 11 nieces and nephews.

May 17, 2023