Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How To Use Picture Books for Number Learning

I know a lot of people are at home with their kids and the expectations of teaching / helping the when they are out of school are nerve wracking.  Some districts have given direction, some have not.  Some schools are closed for THE SCHOOL YEAR.  (OH , my heart.)

Using books to learn is kind of my wheel house as a former preschool teacher.  I'm going to share a day in the life at our house where we focused on 'numbers.'  Keep in mind I have a third grader and an almost 6 month old.

Mind you, we do not have a strong focus every day.  We are currently on 'spring break' and my daughters school district has been incredible.  We are a 1:1 technology district and they are all set up in google classroom and have been sharing ideas, lessons, zooms and more with our families.  This is simply a way to EASILY incorporate some learning into your reading.  Use your books and your kid to focus on certain topics/strategies.  I do this more for me on some days than the kids.  On a typical day it would be me and the baby and I try to pick out different books to read to her so I do not get bored of the same ole thing.  And if you just can't? So be it.  Hug your kids, settle them in for some snuggles and we will get through this.

10:45 I get the baby out of her crib and change her.  Then we settle on her rug in her bedroom and I give her a book to chew and scrunch on as I scan the shelves.  I decided to do books that had to something to do with numbers because my end goal was to have a small conversation about fractions with the 8 year old to see what she really knew about them.

We read through these.  She rolled on the floor, sometimes watching, mostly just listening.  She chewed on books and touched them.

While reading 1,2,3, Counting I...

- Pointed at each object and counted them, alternating between Spanish counting and English counting because I can, sometimes I have the 8 year old count to her in Mandarin because she knows that and it keeps her skills fresh

While reading Jane Eyre I,

- I read the words and then pointed and counted out the objects on each page

While reading the others, I used different voices and pointed out the number of objects on each page.

In the middle of this reading which took all of 15 minutes, probably was less time, the 8 year old appeared and did some choral reading (reading at the same time) with me to finish out The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  That's when I told her to go to her room and find books that had something to do with numbers and bring them out to the living room because at this point her sister was cranky and needed to nurse.

11:15ish We put the baby in the excersaucer and we settled in with the books she brought out.

We started with 1,2,3 Peas and I

- Asked how many peas do you think are on this page?
- The 8 year old asked on page 60, "I wonder if there really are 60 peas.  I'm going to count." So she did.
- She did the same on the 70s page.
- Then she asked me to count on the 80s page.

We read One Fish,  Two Fish,  Red Fish, Blue Fish and...

- A character had 11 fingers and I said, "how many fingers does Adeline have?" The 8 year old counted them.  Then I said how many do you have and she counted her fingers.  I asked how many I had and she said 10.  I said how many do we have all together and she said 30.  And I said, yes, 3 people times 10 fingers is 30!

- Then the 8 year old said, "We all have 10 toes too." So we have 30 toes too."

- There was a line about ears.  And the 8 year old pointed to the baby and said, "she has 2 ears. we all have to ears.  All of us toether have 6 ears. " And I said , "yup.  2 ears times 3 people equals 6.'

- There was a line about 10 cats on a head.  So I asked, "are there really 10 cats on his head?" And the 8 year old counted them out.

Bonus non math learning...
We talked about rhyming and did choral reading..

We read Pete the Cat's First Thanksgiving and...

- We talked about the amount of time they sailed on the ship
- We counted the calendar days on a calendar in the book.

Bonus non math learning...
- We talked about what we were thankful for.
- The 8 year old read what was underneath all the flaps.

We read The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Pig and...

(this is when the rails went off for the baby... she stopped bouncing and we had to move her around and entertain her to get through this one ha)

Bonus non math learning
- 8 year old predicted that the strength of the houses would go in reverse order than the first book (strongest to weakest)

After we finished reading this book, I told the 8 year old I wanted her to draw a brick house using two different colors of bricks and to make sure you could see the difference between the bricks.

We then took a break for lunch, making baby oatmeal for tomorrow, doing dishes, 8 year old got dressed/went outside to pick up sticks and jump rope, I nursed the baby again, folded clothes, switched laundry, and got the baby back down.

 1:00 ish... The 8 year old finished her drawing.  I had her count all of the bricks.  Then I had her count out how many orange/yellow bricks, then how many brown bricks.  I had her add them up to see if the total matched.  She was getting a little frustrated and wasn't sure how many she counted but we decided 56 was her number.

I asked her if she knew how to write this information as a fraction.  She said no, but I can put it in a pie graph.  So I showed her what I meant and she showed me what she meant.

Then I asked her if she had ever seen fractions written  like 1/3, 1/4 etc.  She didn't remember them from school but knew what I meant from baking.  So then I had her get me a cup measurement and a 1/3 cup measurement.  I asked her how many of the 1/3 cups she thought it would take to fill up the cup.  She said 2.  So I told her to go out to the kitchen and fill up the 1/3 and see how many times she could pour it in.  She got 2 in and said, I can't get anymore! I said there's room but you may not be able to carry it out here, so go see.  So then she filled up one more 1/3 cup full and it fit.

So then I showed her how to write the fractions and how a pie graph of 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3 cups of water would look like.

As you can see super formal here on a back of a worksheet with a drawing from a Mo Doodles the other day.  :)

Then we took a break so she could read more Harry Potter.  And at some point in the afternoon she did play on Prodigy  (math related site) for awhile.

Hours later, we went on a family walk.  I said, "Hey we have 4 people in our family, what fraction of our family are girls?" She said 3 out of 4," which is correct.  So I asked about boys, she replied, " one fourth," also correct.  My husband then said, "what is 3/4 plus 1/4" and she said, "4 out 4 or 1 whole."

So what I got out of this, is my kid DOES know some stuff about fractions even though she claimed she didn't.  She got practice counting, reading, and teaching her baby sister.  The baby got positive interaction, number words, and learns about different voices of reading.

It can be super simple.  It can get more complicated.  There are TONS of activities you could do with these books.  Or not.  Or just read.  Or watch tv and ask questions.  We will get through this.

And if you want some suggestions? I'll be glad to send you ideas and resources.

What are some of your favorite books that have numbers in them?

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