Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math
- Books about math concepts, like Emily's First 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells (Hyperion, 2000), How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller (Random House, 1991) or It's About Time by Stuart J. Murphy (HarperCollins, 2005)
- Math materials (like rulers, yardsticks, tape measures, links, connecting blocks, magnetic numbers and counters) and plastic measuring cups and spoons for water play
- Chart paper and marker
- Language and literacy
- Problem solving
Place the suggested math materials throughout learning centers and plan a few math activities for center and small-group time.
Read a book about time, counting, or measurement with the class. Follow with a discussion about the concepts presented. Ask children to describe how the story relates to their lives. Encourage them to describe why a math concept like counting, measuring, or telling time is important.
On the top of a sheet of chart paper, write the question "How many ways do we use numbers throughout the day?" Review the daily schedule and invite children to share their ideas. Also, encourage them to think of all the places that they see or use numbers. Record their comments.
Tell children that they will come together after each activity to recall how they used numbers in that activity. Ask them to really pay attention to the way they use numbers when counting, cooking, measuring, distributing snack, setting the table, or playing games.
Bring children together to recall their experiences and record their discoveries about the way they use numbers. Suggest they review the list at the end of the day. Keep the chart up throughout the week so that you can add to the list.
Remember: When discussing how children use numbers, you may need to give them some clues. For example, ask them to think of where numbers are found on their clothes or shoes, at the store, or on a favorite board game.
Parent Math: Invite children to create a survey sheet to find out all the different ways that their parents use math concepts during the day. Ask parents to help their children record the responses. Bring the group together to compare their findings.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LITERACY
Math Big Book: Provide each child with a large sheet of drawing paper and drawing materials. Ask everyone to create pictures about how they use numbers. Invite children to write or dictate descriptions of their drawings. Bind their drawings together into a big book and suggest that children think of a title and create a cover. When the book is finished, invite each child to read her page aloud.
Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer (Simon & Schuster)
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen (Scholastic)
What's a Pair? What's a Dozen? by Stephen R. Swinburne (Boyd Mills Press)