Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finding Maths Learning in the strangest places

I was at MacDonalds in the weekend with my children and as we sat and ate one of my children looked down at the tray sheet and saw a picture of a bend chip on it. He said, 'I wonder if my chip is as long as that one?' He then proceeded to lay his chip on top of the other chip to check the difference in size. What happened then was a competition between all of us to select chips that we thought would match the size of the chip picture. This involved us making estimates (or guesstimates! which are educated guesses) about the length of the chips.

Who knew Maccas could be so educational!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cooking up a pictograph

We have had lots of children interested in cooking so over the past few weeks we have been making and trying different foods and flavours from cultures other than ours. We made korma curry which is a mild coconut flavoured curry. We cooked rice and each child had a sample before coming back for a larger helping if they enjoyed the taste. At mat time we had a discussion about who enjoyed the korma curry, who didn't and who didn't even try it. We decided to record our findings using a pictogram. After we made our graph we 'read' it using comparative mathematic language such as more, most, less, same. We counted and we asked questions such as how many?, how many more than, how many less than, did (child's name) like the korma? Our young friend wanted to know if he was as tall as the graph and this also initiated another mathematical investigation from the children.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Numbers are everywhere

Numbers are everywhere so let your child use their knowledge to recognize numbers in practical ways.

e.g. Can you find me a birthday card for Jo. She will be 6. (10/10 your child will find the right card)

e.g. What page is it that shows the wolf blowing down the straw house?

e.g. Which numbers on the phone are nanny's?

How many can you do?

Have fun with your child. Challenge them....

"How many jumps (or any other activity) can you do?"

Get your child to count each jump.

Why not challenge him or her to a jump off...who can jump the most?

Recognizing zero

To extend your child's thinking about numbers include zero (0) in your counting sequences when counting forward and backwards.

e.g. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4...

e.g. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Talk about zero meaning none or nothing

Counting on

As mentioned in previous postings number rhymes, songs, stories and games are a great way for children to become familiar with saying and using numbers in fun and meaningful ways. When children are quite competent counting to ten (and then later to twenty) try adding a bit more challenge by starting counting at a number other than 1.

e.g. 5, 6, 7, 8...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Encourage your child to learn their colours. You can support this by talking about the colour of things e.g. The grass is green....The black dog is eating....You are wearing your red t shirt.

Asking your child to get things for you using colour clues is a fun way to learn the colours e.g. Can you get Daddy the black hammer...Where is mummy's green sock?...Pass me the red sauce...

Have fun with colours by putting cellophane on windows at home or making cellophane mobiles that hang at the child's sight level. Make different cellophane coloured glasses or binoculars from old cardboard tubes from gladwrap/tinfoil. Crystals hanging in windows make wonderful colour patterns that can be discussed. After rain look for rainbows and identify the colours together.