Monday, April 16, 2012

M is for Math

Most of my teacher friends have heard me say at one time or another, "There's a reason why I teach kindergarten math." The fact of the matter is, math has never been a favorite subject of mine, at least growing up. My brain just does not work that way. I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting at the kitchen table while my grandfather "tried" to help me with math. Let's just say he was a very patient man.               
  Do you need an essay written, I'm your go to girl, but algebraic equations? Not so much.When my kids hit high school (maybe even sooner) their math homework became a mystery to me. I'd hear "Mom can you help me with my math homework?" "Nope, go ask dad." It's not that I didn't want to help them...I couldn't! 
Even though I'm not a big math fan, I still enjoy teaching it, at least to kindergarteners! We have a lot of fun with math in my classroom.

One of my favorite lessons to teach each year is the Marshmallow lesson! What's not to love about a sticky marshmallow? Of course my kids would much rather eat them than build with them, so every few minutes I shout out, "you may eat two marshmallows!" They love that! They are pretty creative with their marshmallows and toothpicks and I'm always amazed at the structures they are able to build.

I also love finding fun and interesting ways to teach graphing. We graph everything from gingerbread men, who will win the Superbowl, which of us like Green Eggs and Ham, and how many fish of each color we can catch. I try to make our graphs as fun and visually appealing as possible.

I think the best thing about math is that it's universal. It doesn't matter what language you speak, math is math. I find that those kids who struggle with phonemic awareness, letter id and phonics can be and usually are successful with kindergarten math concepts. Succeeding gives them that little bit of confidence that struggling kids so often need. 
Math makes kids feel smart!


School Sparks Renee said...

I love your graphs - so engaging and colorful. Aslo, the idea of hearing you call out for children to eat two mini-marshmallows made me smile. Great idea!! Renee

Lisa said...

Hello! I feel the same way about math! I'm so glad I found your blog. Please visit my "new" blog - teaching kindergarten kiddos

(It's still under construction!)

~ Lisa

Marlana said...

I wanted to let you know that I added your blog to my new list of blogs at Kindergarten Network. Stop by sometime and check it out when you have a chance. Be sure to let me know if I left out any details you would like to be added.

Lil' Country Kindergarten
Kindergarten Network

Cindy Foreman said...

Hi! I am one of your newest followers and I have nominated you for an award! Head on over to my blog to get your award and while you’re there please feel free to follow me too! I look forward to sharing ideas with you in the future! Have a great summer!
Krazy Kindergarten Teacher

Mary said...

I didn't love math while growing. But guess what? I am a math teacher for kindergartens. hahahah, I love those ideas. I would like to try it especially the marshmallows. The kids will love those. Thanks for sharing!