Series: Book Ideas

Finding Math in The First Day of Winter

NEWS001-1 best childrens books for winter

This charming tale by Denise Fleming is the perfect book for any wintry day—and a fun way to introduce a lot of important mathematical ideas. As a little boy adds more and more trimmings to a snowman on each page, children can chant along and experience the growing pattern:  “4 prickly pinecones, 3 striped scarves, 2 bright blue mittens, and a red cap with a gold snap. By the time they reach “10 salty peanuts,” the children are recognizing increases in quantity and the snowman is looking fabulous.

Beyond counting and growing patterns, there are many more math-related ideas and activities that can be drawn from the book. Building and decorating a real snowman outdoors provides opportunities for children to talk together about spatial relations, size, quantity, symmetry, and shape as they plan and problem solve. Indoors, children can create their own paper snowman collages with art materials such as ribbons, pom-poms, stickers, yarn, and so on. Children can dictate a story about their finished snowmen, using math language to describe the number, location, and attributes of all the trimmings they selected.

It can also be a great way to explore Number Sense and Counting. Please click below for a larger view of an activity poster that was made.


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Common Core Alignment

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Foundational Math Concepts

Source: Early Math at Work, Vol. 1, Issue 1 • Copyright: © Erikson Institute • Content ID: NEWS001

More in the Book Ideas series

NEWS011-2 math activities for prek

The Math in Dots

Melinda Chum is one of many teachers who have found great ways to do math with Donald Crews’ wonderful picture book 10 Black Dots. Children love going through the pages, exploring how 2 black dots form the eyes on a fox or 4 black dots can be seen as the tires on a vehicle.

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