Do the children in your classroom know each other’s names? At winter break, are they still pointing to “that girl?” Doing activities in the early weeks of school that use the children’s own names will do wonders for building your classroom community. At the same time, you can be doing math—as well as literacy!
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Have some Halloween fun with the witch’s tale Room on the Broom. In this lively story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, a witch makes room for her animal friends to ride on her broomstick… until there’s one too many animals, and the broom snaps in two. The central question of this book – Is there room on the broom for me? – is a mathematical one.
How is it possible to have too many tamales? Well, Maria finds out in the book Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. In this holiday storybook, what starts out as a fun experience helping mama make tamales becomes a frantic search for mama’s wedding ring. But it’s in the search that Maria and her cousins are faced with the math concept of too many.
The holidays are coming up, and usually that involves a lot of eating. This provides plenty of opportunities to find math all around us. Problems surrounding the questions of “how many do we have,” “how many do we need,” “how much is enough,” and “what might be too much” can lead to any number of fruitful holiday math activities.