I really think it is amazing that as a society we have really been pushing new parents to read to their children for 20 minutes a day. We all know that this helps a child in a myriad of ways to become better speakers, writers and readers. I am blessed with a five year old that learned to read completely on her own at age 4, and I believe that reading to her every day of her life has been the reason this happened. The cool thing was, we didn’t have to teach her to read, it just happened on it’s own (trust me, we were shocked and humbled by this development!). Whether that is the norm or not, it got me thinking about math.
Why don’t we as a society promote 20 minutes of math play each day, the same way we promote reading? Imagine if children could authentically develop number sense from an early age by counting or playing with numbers DAILY. I bet we wouldn’t see as many students struggling with some of the simplest concepts like even vs. odd. I still have a few third graders who aren’t sure of the difference!
This is my daughter “building” numbers today. All we needed was a little paper and some unifix cubes which you can pick up at any educator supply store. I want her to see that numbers aren’t really all that abstract. We’ll be adding many different number representations to our papers each day.
I plan to add math play to my 5 year old’s day, the same way we read each day. If you already do something like this, I hope you can share some of your activities with me!
Last, this also gets me thinking about my third graders. Is there a way that I can have math play be homework? Hmmm….I’m on it!