Sunday, July 15, 2012

Making Math Meaningful: Building a Math Foundation

Making Math Meaningful: Building a Math Foundation

WELCOME!!! Making Math Meaningful!! 

Welcome to my little colorful corner of the blog-o-sphere. 
Chances are very good that you've landed here as a result of Pinterest and that this is your first visit. Welcome. Oh happy, happy day! You found me!!

Here's my quick intro. I'm a 'music-lady' -- turning her original songs for children into traditional hardcover picture books! The photos you are about to explore are as a result of my making Author-Illustrator School Visits. ENJOY!!

photo of: 'Physicality of Math' in Kindergarten -- Teamwork Captured in Photographs
"LeAnn had 2. Maria had 3. We have 5" --- "Duncan had 2. Colin had 3. We have 5." 

Let's get started by looking at some of the amazing projects in Mrs. Sherwood's Kindergarten classroom. 
She was brilliant enough to co-ordinate a two day residency: first to introduce me to her class (and the other k-kiddos in the building) with an immediate follow up visit a week later. So I have lots of goodies to share from her incredible expertise. 

These initial collages are from a 'math bulletin board' and they're just brilliant on every level. As you can see the children are divided into teams. They have chosen their materials and have then written about their team choices. "Jacob had 3. Abhi had 3. We have 6." Photographed for posterity and proudly displayed for all to appreciate. 

Talk about meaningful math! For anyone who has read here before you may be aware of my series FINE MOTOR FRIDAYS [click here for the series, including this week's installment which has a contest still underway for a signed set of my picture books!] LUV LUV LUV the handwritten nature of these projects!!! Mrs. Sherwood is famous for this 'handwritten' component of her student's work adorning her room and the hallways beyond. 

photo of: Meaning Math Bulletin Board in Kindergarten: Teams of children and their handwritten Math summary

photo of: "We Use Numbers at School" Making Math Meaningful by Photographing Math 'In Action'
We Use Math at School

photo of: Kindergarten Math Center Assignments (child's photos on tongue depressors)

Happily colored library pockets. Student photographs on tongue depressors. BRILLIANT!! 
Now take a look at the list of their stated (again student written) math Goals!! KUDOS!

photo of: Kindergarten Math Goals (Handwritten by students)

photo of: Kindergarten "Counting" and Numeracy

photo of: Math Art Project: Numerals from PomPoms from Math Round-Up by RainbowsWithinReach

These next 'math manipulatives' are from Mrs. Price's kindergarten room across town. I had this same photo last Sunday in my article on classroom organization. That round-up catapulted to my #1 read article in five days time!!!! Seriously made my head spin.... and gave me the inspiration to follow-up with today's topical round up. MATH MANIPULATIVES!

photo of: Math Manipulatives: Housed together on Math shelf in bins + baskets (from article on classroom organization)

photo of: Fine Motor Skill Development with Pegs on Pegboard, Creating an AB pattern in Kindergarten

photo of: Spring Math Game using Sunflower seeds for Counting + Numeracy Development

When we think of math, we may first think of a child learning to count. Then developing a sense of one-to-one correspondence. Let's hop up to a Michigan preschool outside of Detroit. I absolutely LUV'd this activity unfolding when I entered their room. Laminated-numbered flowers + sunflower seeds = PRICELESS!!

This next one involved the children's handwritten classic rhyme. Art, Rhyme. Counting. Handwriting. Yup. You guessed it. Mrs. Sherwood is responsible! 

photo of: Using Rhymes for Counting Reinforcement in Kindergarten Math Art Activity

ANCHOR CHARTS! LUV me some Anchor Charts!!

photo of: Kindergarten Math Anchor Chart for Numeracy Development

Here's a flashback-photo from my South Daytona Beach visit last winter.
I get such a 'kick' out of snowman activities in the midst of all those palm trees and sunshine! 
Makes me smile. 

photo of: Anchor Chart for Early Math: Melting Snowmen

photo of: Math Anchor Chart: Odd and Even Numbers Rhyme

On to the 'counting' of days, culminating in the 100 Day Party! Mrs. Sherwood strings paper clips together to make math meaningful. Can you determine when I was there?

photo of: 100 Day Party in Kindergarten, Counting Days as School on Paper Clip Chains

photo of: Countdown Cleverness at RainbowsWithinReach

Ultimately and with much excitement we read the HUNDREDTH Day! 
This glorious bulletin board is from that happy Florida visit. 
Homework sandwich baggie: bring in 100 articles from home.
Display together and you've got an awesome opportunity to compare and contrast. 
Volume. Density. Plus counting!

photo of: 100 Day Party Math Homework Bulletin Board in Kindergarten

Here's the link to the various 100 Day party ideas I observed. Oh, so worth your time. 
At the very least, pin it now and come back to it when you need it!

photo of: Collage of 100th Day Celebration Art, Math and Science Projects from Rainbows Within Reach: Author Illustrator visit with Debbie Clement

I was going to save this next collage of 'simple addition' in kindergarten for an upcoming BIG reveal, but just couldn't wait. It deserves to be here in this round-up first. Come back next Super-Sunday and hopefully I'll have big news to share. This is your first clue. Yup. I have a song about tadpoles. This artwork was created in Westerville, OH in anticipation of my springtime arrival. 

photo of: Bulletin Board for Kindergarten Addition: Frogs and Tadpoles in the Spring

When you think of math -- you think of Pizza -- right?
These next sets of images are from two different buildings in Hilliard, OH.  

photo of: Kindergarten Pizza Math Exemplar (division of pepperoni onto student drawn pizzas)

photo of: Making Math Meaningful: Pizza as Fractions in Primary Grades

photo of: Making Math Meaningful: Pizza as Fractions in Primary Grades

Quick before you order that pizza, put down the phone. Let's move on to all things 'shape' related and save some calories. 

photo of: Making Math Meaningful with Shapes

I can not say enough about Parquetry blocks. As a former elementary Art teacher that was my first investment from my 'wish' money fund. I housed them in a basket for those early finishers. The best money I ever spent. How I wish I had photos of those glorious creations from my art room days. 

Whatever age children you serve, whatever type of setting, get thee OODLES of parquetry blocks! The more the merrier!!! The more blocks you provide, the more elaborate the constructions become. The more collaborative they become. Geometry from an early age. 

photo of: Making Math Meaningful: Parquetry Blocks in Elementary School

photo of: Solid Shapes Explored in Kindergarten, Make Math Meaningful


photo of: Graphing in Elementary School
photo of: Make Math Meaningful with Weather Chart

photo of: Math Journals in Kindergarten: Weather Graphing

photo of: Make Math Meaningful in Kindergarten: Weather Graphing

photo of: Make Math Meaningful in Kindergarten: Chart for Apple Preferences

It's time to conclude with some Math-Art projects and responses. These beauties were in the hallway in Pataskala, OH during my author-visit to WonderBoy's kindergarten. You know I was in awe of such mature treatment. LUV 'em!!

photo of: Exploring Math in Primary Grades through Artistic Projects

photo of: Exploring Math in Primary Grades through Artistic Projects

photo of: Weaving Project as Exploration of Math Patterns

I create the illustrations in my picture books from fabric as small quilts. On my school visits I share the actual quilts and we compare them to the reproduction in the books. The teachers often have their students explore the geometry, shapes and patterns of quilt-making in a math-slash-art project prior to my arrival. 

Here's what that looked like on my final school visit of last spring at St. Paul Elementary in Westerville, OH. 

photo of: Debbie Clement makes Kindergarten Classroom Author-Illustrator School Visit

photo of: Kindergarten Geometric Art Response to Debbie Clement's Author Illustrator School Visit

photo of: Kindergarten Group Collaborative Art Project using Quilt Squares in Preparation for Author Illustrator School Visit

photo of: Kindergarten Bulletin Board Group Collaboration in Preparation of Author-Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement

From Ohio just several weeks ago, to NY now a couple years back in time. 
Look what a collaborative effort of an entire building looks like! 
HAPPY GEOMETRY in Kindergarten, INDEED!! 

I could go on at length. I hope that you've been inspired by the teachers I have the great good fortune to rub elbows with. A couple of concluding thoughts.

In the future I pull together an amazing RoundUP of graphs and diagrams. 

Graph & Diagram RoundUP: 125 Ideas from REAL Classrooms at RainbowsWithinReach 

2. Follow my Pinterest collection here with 19,535 fellow teachers.
3. Check out this previous post all about shapes in Preschool.
4. In the future I encounter these amazing SYMMETRY projects

Happy planning! The clock is ticking!!

-- Debbie -- 
Follow on Bloglovin

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth -
YEAH!!! I've opened a little store over at TpT!
*** Editor's Note from the future: I have now opened a store over at TpT. I'm attempting to get myself into this century, by creating zipped files with Mp3 versions of my original children's songs with support materials included in pdf format. Come by. Pick up your FREEBIE. Follow my shop so that you'll know when I download new projects or hold a sale. 

photo of: Making Math Meaningful Round Up with Rainbows Within Reach

Bloggers. It's another bloghop. Please add links to your articles that are math related. 
New or old. 
Please, please, please include a backlink to this article within your article. 
That's the proper way to blog hop. 

Etiquette, people. Good manners. Backlinks. Kindness. 
You'll earn extra credit points if you include the collage above with your link. 

TeeHee I've included my Math Bloghop on my future Kindergarten RoundUP


  1. Great post! The reason I asked to be moved from third to K was so that I can help the kids gain a solid math foundation... it is my passion. Also, I always find it funny that this blog world seems so small sometimes. I live and teach in Texas now but grew up in Ohio. My husband went to St. Paul's and that is still his families church... wonderful place!

    Kickin' it in Kinder

    1. Cue: "It's a Small World After All" and we all say, 'awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.' The kinder world is going to be so fortunate to have you. I've got two upcoming events in TEXAS!!! Houston + Montgomery. Thanks for you support.


    2. Wait, you're coming to Houston??? When and where please? I live 1/2 an hour south in Friendswood . . .

    3. BARBARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes. I actually have two upcoming trips to the Houston area. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!!!!

      Twill send you a message on FB and see what we can do to connect some dots!


  2. This is a wonderful post! Love all the wonderful math ideas. I will have to get my link in soon. Thanks!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

    1. Get movin' dearie!! We need all of the ideas we can find! It's fun when folks use the word 'wonderful' on my behalf.


  3. FABULOUS ideas! You're so creative!! Thank you for the shares. With all the CCSS, these ideas will come in handy in creating the classroom the kids need!

    1. I'm so glad that you found the collection and that you can use the ideas. There's a lot here so I know you'll have fun in the process of integrating what works for you.


  4. This is so wonderful Debbie! What a fantastic display of math ideas!! Truly inspiring:)


    1. So glad to serve up some inspiration, Corinna. It's all worthwhile hearing your appreciation. I get to see the neatest ideas and its fun to share them with a receptive audience.


  5. Wow! What a collection of great ideas, Debbie! Thanks for the linky, too. I linked up some of my math posts and pinned your post. Deb @

    1. Thanks so much for the pin, Deb.... that's how everyone 'finds' what I do around here. I'm really glad to have your posts added to the hop. I know that others will appreciate your hard work on their behalf.


  6. Hi Debbie,
    I tried to follow you on pinterest from today's link and the link at the top of your blog but I keep getting the Unauthorized page. Can you help?

    1. Oh MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS?!?!?!?!?!?!

      Pennie. What on earth has happened to my links to Pinterest? Unauthorized indeed. I will be working on getting to the bottom of this. Thank you soooooooo much for bringing this HUGE HUGE HUGE problem to my attention.

      I don't know what on earth has happened to create the 'unauthorized' state. I think it must have something to do with a conflict in link sourcing. I will do my best to get to the bottom of this. In the mean time you can email me at Debbie at RainbowsWithinReach dot com and I will certainly hook you up.


  7. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are so welcome. I am always grateful to see you pinning my work. You always provide readers as a result!


  8. I found you through TT and have been following your pin boards for quite some time now. You have FANTASTIC ideas and I so dig your teaching style :)

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

    1. Ya just gotta LUV TT!!! Kelley, thanks so much for taking the time to pop over and take a better look. I'm so grateful for your comment!


  9. Somehow I JUST started following your blog! All of those math ideas are incredible! My favorites is counting by 10's with paperclips to the 100th day of school and the picture sticks for the math centers! Cute!

    Michelle (your TT friend) :)

    Apples and ABC's

    1. So glad to have you, Michelle. Yup, TT is the best for all manner of networking and support. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.



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Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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