A Voice from the Village
By Karen Loo, K-2 Resource Teacher
Aloha! They say it takes a village to raise a child. As a Resource Teacher, I am honored to add my “voice” to your child’s success at Kula Ha’aha’a. In this message I would like to share some thoughts about math.
“Master Counters.” That’s what Kindergarteners must become. According to Wes Yuu, a math consultant to our campus, without solid counting skills, young learners will struggle with more complex mathematical thinking. Counting requires accuracy. It develops into efficient ways of seeing quantities but that takes practice. We used to say that practice makes perfect. Now, we’ve learned that “practice makes habits.” Giving your child frequent opportunities to practice efficient and accurate counting will build habits that will pave the way for higher levels of mathematical thinking. Following are some examples of simple habits that you can oversee or enjoy with your child.
IXL: With this app, your child is able to practice math using a format similar to the standardized MAP test that we use to measure learning as a school. The skills practiced are also aligned with the Hawaii Common Core Standards and the Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards. Each month the names of all Kindergarteners who have completed at least 7 skills at 100% are put into a jar for a drawing of a Jamba Juice gift card. Although only one child is chosen, all students achieving the minimum of 7 skills are practicing and reinforcing learning from school. Congratulations to these students for representing the habit of independent practice:
Here is just one site where you can find simple activities to give your child a variety of opportunities for counting. Check out “Treasure Hunt” and “In the “News(paper)” as rainy-day, weekend, and over-the-break activities at home.
Baking offers countless opportunities for building habits of accuracy, measuring, and counting, just to name a few skills that are the building blocks of math. Here are two recipes that you might find fun to do with your child:
An easy way to make a yummy kid-friendly pastry while naturally talking about math concepts that include shapes, numbers, and patterns.
You can’t go wrong with peanut butter cookies!
Games are the perfect way to enjoy time with your child while practicing basic counting skills. Games that involve carefully counting your way around a board while matching the number on a die or spinner board to the number of jumps on spaces will immerse your child in counting. Counting the number of bounces or kicks it takes before a ball hits the ground, or the number of times family members can jump with a jump rope are just a few more ways to make fun family times “count.”