Welcome to week 3 of our Math Through Play Book Study! I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about getting more play into the classroom and have some great ideas. I will be sharing some of these in the next few weeks!
Here is the posting schedule for this book study:
Sunday April 12th: Chapters 6&7
Sunday April 19th: Chapters 8&9
If you are just joining us, head to this post for more details!
Chapter 6: Shape and Space
I love 3-D shapes and find that they are an easy thing to incorporate into play. My students have access to a large about of block play and construction kids such as Lincoln logs, polydrons and legos. I would love to add Magna tiles to my rotation as my budget allows. These toys are fun and engaging and kids can build and play with them for hours. They are the perfect way to introduce 3-D geometry vocabulary and for kids to explore ideas about movement and symmetry.
When reading this chapter, I did think of some other ways that I could increase students access to 3-D shapes with other materials. The book talks a lot about modeling dough and working on 3-D shapes through this medium. I certainly have plenty of access to modeling dough and could absolutely spend some time encouraging kids to explore 3-D shapes with this medium. The other idea from this chapter that really excited me was using recyclable materials. Several years ago, I worked with a second grade class to build 2 robots out of recycled materials and they got so much good hands on math out of this experience. Much of what I put into my recycling bin each day is a 3-D shape and the possibilities of how kids can use these to build and create are almost endless. The best part is that I don't have to wait for budget money to be there or spend my own money on these materials.
Using a Camera
Just a few years ago, we had one digital camera to be shared by everyone in the school. Now with a few iPads in most classrooms and the way cameras have improved on cell phones, I have all day access to a good camera. This chapter made some excellent points about taking pictures of students' creations with 2 and 3-D shapes. Seeing shapes from different angles and perspectives is a great way to talk about geometry concepts. This is something I definitely would like to do more of.
Chapter 7: Measurement
Volume and Capacity
I have always been a big fan of sand/water tables and this type of play in classrooms. While I still see these in almost every preschool classroom, they have been disappearing from primary classrooms in many elementary schools. I think this is a huge lost opportunity for the development of measuring volume and capacity. Kids can learn so much from these experiences. I particularly liked some of the suggestions in the book for going beyond just sand and water in the table. In my online research for more sand and water table ideas, I came upon this awesome website which really takes the sand/water table to a whole new level.
I really don't think I have ever thought about how to incorporate learning time into play. I love the idea of giving kids a calendar or plan book to use in their play. The calendar would be great to include in their play around doctor or vet offices or anywhere where appointments need to be made. A planner would be great if they are playing school or something that requires a schedule on an hourly basis. I also love the idea of providing a clock (analog or digital depending on level) that they can use to play train station or other activities where the tickets might have a time written on them.
Looking for more ideas for math play? Check out my new pinterest board where I will be collecting ideas from all over the internet!