I and dozens of families across the US, Canada, and England had a blast with the Summer of Math last summer, and now I’m gearing up for the school year version: Boxes of Math.
Starting small with a single option for kindergarten and first grade (five- and six-year-olds, roughly), Boxes of Math will have some overlap with last summer’s Summer of Math, but are targeted at this more narrow age range and the math they’re learning in school.
Boxes of Math consists of:
• A small welcome and introductory shipment before the New Year
• A box for counting and patterning in mid-January
• A box for shape study in late February
• A box for number structures and operations in late March/early April
Each box will have a book, one or more things to get your hands on, and a newsletter with ideas about fun ways to play and to continue the learning in your everyday lives.
Why Boxes of Math?
Inside these boxes are things that help create conversations. They get children thinking about the most important ideas of elementary math.
A few of the objects that will fill the boxes of math.
Most children who struggle with math later on aren’t familiar with these ideas. They know facts by rote, but not in relation to each other. Or they cannot retain the facts because they see no relationships. They can name triangles, but don’t see all polygons as made out of triangles. They can count large numbers of objects fluently, but they don’t notice whether these objects are arranged in rows and columns.
Those are the things this website is all about.
Struggling or not, all children benefit from exercising their math minds through play and conversation.
Boxes of Math offers children and caregivers opportunities to play, experiment, and talk in ways that bring these ideas to life. Noticing rows and columns is a natural outcome of playing with pattern machines. Playing with 21st Century Pattern Blocks is an extended exercise in putting shapes together and taking them apart.
The target outcome of Boxes of Math is children (and families) with a similar relationship to math as they have to literature. They talk about it, see it in their world, and use it to understand their lives in richer, more beautiful ways than before.
Sign up, give it as a gift, pass the word on to friends and neighbors, won’t you?