Summer is coming and it will be a fabulous opportunity for our students to explore math in their community. I wanted to share some resources that families can investigate over the summer months to deepen their understanding of how math lives in every corner of their lives.
One great place to start is with the Talking Math with Kids blog. Christopher Danielson, a parent and a math teacher, writes about experiences he has playing and talking math with his children. He shares the conversations he has with his kids as they go about their daily lives – in the car, at the park, in the grocery store. I always learn something new about how kids think and wonder. Check it out.
Another great activity is to go on a math walk with your kids. Help them look for the math in their community by asking questions about the shapes they see, the size and quantity of objects, estimating distance and time it takes to reach a destination, the possibilities are infinite. For some intriguing ideas, check out math trails and try these great question prompts to get you started.
- Estimate and then compare how much liquid different cups, glasses, water bottles will hold
- Let children handle money, make change, count and sort coins, and make purchases with actual coins and bills in the store. As we move to more frequent use of debit cards, children have fewer opportunities to play and develop their understanding of our money system.
- Talk about fractions. Cut sandwiches into thirds and sixths, pour a glass of juice three-fourths full, make veggie plates that are one half carrots, one fourth cucumber slices, and two eighths pepper strips.
- Use number words and other math words as often as possible. “I see 7 kids on the climber”. “Can you hand me the square napkins?”
- Incorporate telling time, and determining how much time has gone by, or how much time until an event happens. “We have to leave at 9:15 tomorrow morning and it usually takes an hour and half to get ready. What time should we get up?”
When children see you using math every day and demonstrating a positive attitude towards math, it helps them to develop their confidence and ability to understand math concepts more deeply. For more information on how you can help your child, explore the resources at Inspiring Your Child to Learn and Love Math.