Making the Most of Math Teaching and Learning: Resources for Teachers and Families

Kid counting

 

Children have an innate interest in early math, and teaching math to young children can be fun and exciting! But it can be challenging to figure out how to incorporate interactions and instruction that support math development in virtual and limited in person contexts. This is especially true as you’re juggling competing priorities with less instructional time than usual! In this week’s blog, we are highlighting some resources that provide suggestions for how teachers and families can approach math teaching and learning in creative and fun ways.

Resources for Teachers

A great resource for teaching math in an online environment is the “See It, Move It, Grasp It: Math with Virtual Manipulatives” webinar by Chrissy Newell for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). We know that in order for students to truly grasp mathematics concepts and show what they know, they need to have materials that they can touch and move as they solve problems. Manipulatives provide a concrete way for students to show their thinking.

Teaching in a virtual environment makes it more difficult to provide these types of materials for students. In this webinar, Chrissy Newell offers advice on how virtual manipulatives can support students’ math thinking and learning  and walks through a useful, free app that your students can start using today. Please note that the webinar is one hour long and some of the math concepts she covers are more developmentally appropriate for higher grade levels.

Here is a link to the free math apps covered in the webinar: https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/apps. From the list available in the link above, the apps below are most applicable for Pre-K and K teachers:

  • Geoboard – to help with exploring shape properties
  • Number frames – useful for exploring ten frames
  • White board app – can be used for drawing shapes and writing numerals
  • Number line – can help with numeracy and computation
  • Pattern shapes – useful for exploring shape properties and composing and de-composing shapes
 

VKRP Supporting Readiness Math Resources

We continually update the Supporting Readiness Skills Resources page on the VKRP website, which has math specific resources to promote students’ learning and skill development. We’ve highlighted a few resources from that page here:

Erikson Institute

Book Ideas for Early Math

Using stories to infuse the early years with mathematical learning

Visit the site
Global FRP

Every Child Ready for Math

Six ideas for how librarians and families can promote early math

Visit the Site
Havard: Usable Knowledge

Making Math a Family Thing

Strategies to close the math gap between home and school

Visit the Site

Resources for Families

DREME Network Math Kits for Families

The DREME Network currently has two Math Learning Kits for families on their site: Kit #1 and Kit #2. These kits have several notable features:

  1. They can be downloaded in pdf form in English or Spanish.
  2. They offer fun activities, including recipes, card games, scavenger hunts, and so much more.
  3. Each kit offers “Math Snacks,” which are quick math ideas for parents to try during regular family routines like meal prep, playtime, and bedtime.
 

The DREME Network also has an entire page dedicated to educators working with families called Family Math – https://familymath.stanford.edu/ which has even more math activities for parents to try with their children.

We hope you will find these math resources valuable as you continue to work your students and their families, and we’d love to hear from you about other math resources you’ve found useful so that we can share them with others! Please share your resources with us at vkrp@virginia.edu.

More questions? VKRP provides support via the online chat feature when you are in the system, via email vkrp@virginia.edu, and via toll free 866-301-8278 ext. 1​

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