November 7, 2018
Traditions around food and feasts provide rich opportunities to connect math at school with children’s experiences at home. From Diwali to Thanksgiving, fall is a season of special meals with loved ones.
The holiday season usually brings with it any number of family dinners and communal feasts. For young children, this is a great time to engage in math.
How is it possible to have too many tamales? Well, Maria finds out in the holiday storybook Too Many Tamales by author Gary Soto.
The holidays are coming up, and usually that involves a lot of eating. This provides plenty of opportunities to find math all around us.
Cutting paper hearts for Valentine’s Day math fun is a common, early experience with symmetry for many young children.
Every Valentine’s Day children talk about caring, friendship, and love. They can also explore math concepts in the books that are read this time of year.
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.
One of the most classic images of the Halloween season is a witch's magic pot or cauldron. Singing about witches' brew and reading tales of magical pots can also be a great way to introduce math concepts... as long as you find the right book! Below are three of our favorite magic cauldron tales that could be introduced during the Halloween season (or any time) to spark discussion around important math ideas such as doubling, capacity, and measurement.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll and A Pig is Big by Douglas Florian are two children's story books that present opportunities for children to explore the mathematical concept of measurement, particularly the Big Idea that all measurement involves a "fair" comparison.