Triangle Reflection: "Three sides and vertices." "Can be skinny." "Can have one long line." "Two can make a square." "Two can make a special star." "Kandinsky loved triangles and me too." Shape Composers and Decomposers.
Poem #1 (Light on math, heavy on spring reflection) The spring season of teaching defies all measures of time. Outside our window, past the bird feeder, we 23 watch the pear tree. (Pear trees are wretched creatures, so I've learned. Dusty rose-colored petals stain the sidewalks. And short-lived trees, hardly worth the bother, really?)… Continue reading Mathematical Poem #1
The poem that is most beautiful to me is, unsurprisingly, a mathematical poem. It can be found in the first pages of my book, before I start my own words. I've been experimenting with some of my own mathematical poetry recently (standing on the shoulders of Mary Cornish and her poem!). Every once in a… Continue reading Mathematical Poetry
During Morning Explore (45 minutes of open play/projects/creativity/joy) two friends explore Thinkfun's Sudoku , a problem solving and reasoning game. We've been talking a lot about how mathematicians work together to problem solve and look for challenging problems. They found some of that in this game for sure.
Cute. Activity. These are two words that I hear a lot as a kindergarten teacher, and they make me cringe. Language is powerful, and as someone who is deeply interested in how teacher language affects the way children form identities as mathematicians and define for themselves what it means to "do math," I spend a… Continue reading The Cute-Purposeful Dichotomy
My colleague Katie Keier, over at Catching Readers Before They Fall, has written a wonderful series of posts on Explore, a time for meaningful, rich play that is full of learning and teaching opportunities. Katie's post on Literacy Explore, the term she uses for the independent practice time in which children are "engaged and playing in… Continue reading Math Explore-Investigate-Choice
This post started out very differently. I planned to write about how three of my kindergarten mathematicians solved the problem, "Three kids have a mug of hot chocolate. They are going to put ten marshmallows in each mug. How many marshmallows will they need altogether for their three mugs of hot chocolate?" Someday I might… Continue reading Subversive Teaching
My brilliant kindergarten colleagues Lauren Nye and Courtney Carroll recently came up with another engaging way to practice counting in a playful way--making pretend hot chocolate. This counting task mirrors our Halloween Trick or Treat play in which children counted to a specific number, a different kind of task than when children are asked to count… Continue reading Hot Chocolate Play
I was recently reminded of the Number of the Day routine from Jenny Orr and her first graders. In Chapter One of my book I talk about number sense routines being a daily part of my math workshop structure, but I hadn't done many Number of the Day routines this year. I decided the time… Continue reading Number of the Day Routine
Now that my kindergartners have been working on acorn counting collections for a while both during our math workshop and our Explore play, I decided to add another problem solving component to this familiar context. One current focus in our math workshop is exposing children to different types of problem and helping them internalize the structure of various… Continue reading Robber Bird