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  • Kim Bogren Owen- Words Reflected

Not So Scary After All: Every Day Math

I should probably have posted this closer to Halloween this subject terrifies many people. Ready for it?

Math! OK, you can stop screaming! Go ahead and sit down and read the rest of the blog. I promise math won't seem scary after you read these books.

More and more research is coming out showing the importance of teaching (teaching is everyday events and playtime for young kids) math concepts in the early years. Math forms the basis for much more than number concepts. It promotes problem-solving, critical thinking, and reading skills (yes, reading skills!). Use these books to help incorporate math into your daily routines and play time.

For older children (school-age), I highly recommend Cheetah Math: Learning About Division from Baby Cheetahs and Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger. While these are wordy for preschoolers and the concepts might be above their level, these books are a great and fun way to learn about math. This book would be best read to preschoolers as a chapter book. After reading this book, you can set up a veterinary clinic with a scale for weighing the animals, a tape measure for seeing how long they are, and chart paper for "writing" it all down.

Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris and Anne Canevari Green explores different types of patterns using ocean animals. Appropriate for preschoolers on up, it would be a great prompt for an exploration of patterns using various items. Set up the book on a table with small objects, such as rocks, tissue paper, shells, and ocean creatures. For art, set out ocean animal cut-outs with dot markers, crayons, scraps of paper and glue for the children to make their own pattern fish.

Learn about inches and centimeters in How Long Or How Wide? A Measuring Guide by Brian Cleary and Brian Gable. An excellent introduction to the use of a ruler and a provocation for children to measure things. Create a growth chart to compare your children's heights (don't forget to include yours). And measure everything!

Count your way through the building of a city with Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book about Bricks by Kurt Cyrus. A fun math book and would be great as a provocation with blocks. Add the book to your block area along with a ruler to measure the height of their structure and, of course, paper to record it all. You can also encourage the children to count how many blocks they used in their construction.

Math Counts: Shape by Henry Pluckrose looks at the different forms shapes take starting with the square shape of the book itself. The author introduces new vocabulary, such as tressalate, and includes open-ended questions to encourage deep thinking. Put paper and scissors in your art area for the children and encourage them to create a shape collage. You can also add sheets with pre-made shapes to cut out. Do a shape treasure hunt to find all the different shapes around you, including the grocery store!

Tyrannosaurus Math by Michelle Markel and Doug Cushman demonstrates several different math concepts, including counting, subtracting, geometry, measuring, and estimation. Although some of the math problems in the book are beyond the abilities of most preschoolers, the text and illustrations in this book will keep kids' attention while introducing them to the usefulness of math. This would be a nice addition to any school library and great inspiration for seeing all the ways we use math every day. Use everyday events, such as counting how many people are in your family or classroom, as well as how many aren't present. Or how many plates you need to set the table.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog and look forward to hearing about your favorite books about math.

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(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title and purchase through Amazon, we earn a small percentage of the sale. If you don't buy through these links, please, be sure to support your

local, independent bookstore or find them at your library.)

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