Today when we were doing some after-breakfast reading, something funny happened.
Owen showed me clear as day just how differently our brains are wired. It was one of those cool, I’ll-never-forget-it kind of moments when I realized how parenting is extra hard because each of our kiddoscan be so alike in some ways and so totally different in others.
The bottom line is that I need to make more of a concerted effort to throw in some mindful math into our days. But my brain doesn’t work that way naturally–as I’ve said before–so it’s not easy.
Luckily, Maddy’s school provided her with a ton of Everyday Math Activities that I have used and adapted and have shared here. Hopefully it will guide me into a cool and refreshing math-zen state this summer. . .
- Becoming Math-Mindful — Everyday Math Activities: I gave Maddy, Owen, and Cora the challenge of finding a book we haven’t read for a long time, and Owen came up with an old fave–Owen & Mzee, by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. It’s the sweet, unbelievable story of a hippo and tortoise who become best buddies.
We really hadn’t read it for a while, so the kiddos were happy to hear the story. It’s a pretty long text for a children’s book; mid-way, I could tell Owen was drifting.
He said, Hey Mommy! Look–Owen’s on this page four times.
And then the next page, seconds after we’d landed there, he’d say, Woah. Owen’s here three times. Or five. Or two. Or one. Or six. However many times his name was there, he’d notice it immediately and could say the number in no time flat.
What I realized is not that he was totally bored with the story. Well, maybe he was, but he was listening–I know–because we’d stop every now and again to talk about the ideas, characters, events, and he knew what was going on.
But I also saw very clearly how quickly his mind just jumps into number-zone, and I know I don’t do enough to support this type of learning–for Owen or Maddy or Cora for that matter.
So tonight, I rifled through Maddy’s papers that she was given at the end of the school year because I remembered seeing math-related activities. I found them (ya-hoo!), I organized the ideas a bit to better suit my visual-learning needs.
I’ve saved Everyday Math Activities as a pdf to download here:
I printed it out and will keep it close for the next few weeks, trying to throw in a little somethin’ math-y now and again.
I love the ideas because they really do sneak in learning–there’s no flashcard requirements, worksheets, or boring stuff here–just easy, natural ways of being more math-mindful with kiddos.
A sneak-peek at some of the Everyday Math Activities:
Counting: At snacktime, have your child estimate the number of Cheerios or pretzels. Then count them; Use tally marks to count objects. . .
Odd or Even? Give your child coins then ask her to identify them. Is there an odd number or even number?
Shapes: When you’re out on the town, have your child identify geometric shapes–and use the correct vocabulary to discuss features. . .
Time/ Date: Have your child look at an analog clock and tell the time at the hour and half hour.
Measurement/ Fractions: When fixing a sandwich, have your child help you cut it into halves, thirds, quarters. . .
Addition/ Subtraction: Add and subtract objects–Legos, toys, blocks. . .
(HUGE thanks to MCPS and our cluster of schools for creating the basic Everyday Math Activity sheet, which I just modified and re-organized slightly!)
And that’s it–a busy and exciting, sweltering July day with a teeny bit of learning shoved in before we (eeeee!) got to meet the hilarious, talented, and awesome Steve (from SteveSongs!) in real life. Seriously. It was a marvelous day.
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Want a little more math fun?
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Or follow our rockin math pinterest board:
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