Series: Ideas at Work

# Algebraic Thinking with Shoes

Cindy Collado and her preschool class at Stock School were involved in a shoe project that incorporated many math concepts through a variety of activities over the course of two months. The class started by taking a good look at their shoes and then talking and thinking about what they saw. They soon discovered that there were all kinds of way to sort them depending on how they were going to put them into sets according to the attribute they zeroed in on: color, type of shoe, and even shoe size. The children realized that they could represent and compare the size of the sets within each sort by graphing them. One group of children decided to make a bar graph to show types of fasteners, while a second group got a very different result when they graphed the same collection by color.

The sorting quickly led to a related algebraic concept as the class created patterns with their shoes (pink, white, brown) and made a “pattern train.”

Ms. Collado confirms that this truly was an idea that works: “The whole project was amazing as the kids began to initiate patterns and describe shoes – all of a sudden math concepts became part of all of our daily language without us realizing it.”

### Big Idea

Attributes can be used to sort collections into sets. More

### Common Core Alignment

Measurement and Data More

Source: Early Math at Work, Vol. 2, Issue 1 • Copyright: © Erikson Institute • Content ID: NEWS003

# Control Your Math Fate, Estimate!

Ellen Stoll Walsh's book Mouse Count can be used in the classroom to cover such broad-ranging topics as data analysis, number sense, and number and operations. Key concepts such as estimation can be explored and investigated.

# Down with Naked Numbers

All kinds of confusion can result when children are asked to rattle off the numbers from 1 to 10 or 20 or higher without actually counting something. In our learning labs and activities we are working to help teachers find ways to avoid “Naked Numbers

# A Colorful Book to Brighten the Dog-Gone Day

Daniela Giralt at Gunsaulus Elementary, a 2010-11 Early Math participant, used the book Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd to help her preschoolers explore the Big Ideas of counting. First in the whole group, children added dots to a large dog as Ms. Giralt read the story. During the reading, she stopped to ask, “How many stains do you see now? How many stains do you think there will be if we add one more? How many stains are left after the dog takes a bath?