Button, button, who's got the button? Yesterday, I gave my 5yo a container of buttons and a bunch of tiny plastic containers. Left to his own devices, he prepared "snacks" for me; I got to choose the color of "snack" I wanted.
After our delicious purple and pink snack, we settled in to read a favorite book, The Button Box. In the story, a child sorts buttons from Grandma's button box, using a wide variety of categories, including looking at where the buttons may have come from: sparkly buttons from kings, leather ones from cowboy shirts, tiny buttons from old fashioned shoes, and shiny buttons from uniforms. I've always thought this book a must-have for preK-kindergarten! ;) You might also read Grandma's Button Box, a Math Matters book.
We just began a little study using the amazing book, Awesome Ocean Science! On p. 7-8 it describes how to make a pie that compares the ratio of the earth's water to land. We modified it for a gluten-free edible ocean math lesson.
The book says that 70% of the earth is covered with water, 30% land. We decided to use blue jello in a 9x13 baking dish to show the water. So the first question...how could we divide the pan into sections to accurately model 70%?
We problem solved by drawing diagrams on the whiteboard. My student knew he wanted to begin by dividing the area of the pan in half, lengthwise. He also knew that he wanted 10 sections, each representing 10% of the earth. At first he thought he could make 5 horizontal cuts to make 5 horizontal sections. Quickly realizing that 5 cuts made 6 sections, he modified, making 4 horizontal cuts. We measured the pan to determine that each cut would need to be somewhere between 2 and 3 inches in length. This wasn't exact measuring...a simple estimate made cuts that gave us 10 more-or-less equal sections.
The boys then covered 30% of the surface with blueberries to indicate land, leaving the other 70% to show water. Finally, a few "white waves" (whipped topping) finished off the ocean surface.
Ready to gear up for some summer reading? Consider adding some math-related children's literature* to your list. I have a long list of updates that I'll be adding to my math book list over the next several weeks as I prepare to teach a class on Linking Math and Literature.
And please let me know of any new titles you discover! I've got a goodie to share with you soon.
*Disclaimer: If you use a link on this blog to go to Amazon, any purchases you make result in a small commission (no cost to you) that is then sent in its entirety to Grace and Hope (see button above), the organization that provided foster care for my son while in China. My goal for this year is to earn enough commissions to put one additional child in foster care. Thank you for your help.