Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grids Gone Wild

For those of you with preschoolers, the summer looms long with relentless requests for snacks and hulu cartoons. In order to thwart the boredom (and get my 4-year-old ready for kindergarten), I've been researching different ways to review (and expand) her math, reading, and writing skills. Here are three resources I'm counting on for math.

Much More Than Counting: More Whole Math Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten by Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus

In the 48 hours since I checked this book out from the library, I've created about 10 different grid games (hence the post's title). A grid game consists of two pieces of card stock marked with 16 (more or less) squares. You fill in the squares with stickers or pictures related to a children's book or theme. For example, for the book The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and Steven Kellogg, we filled in our grid with pictures of t-shirts. Then, the first player rolls the die and picks out that number of markers (in this case mini-clothespins). The player then places the markers on the grid (or not). Once you begin playing with a preschooler, you realize why the authors didn't include more rules. My next obsession? Path games.

Math Detectives: Finding Fun in Numbers by Ricki Wortzman and Lalie Harcourt

Are you a square or a rectangle? If you didn't guess already, I'm a square. This book points out that numbers are all around us if we just take the time to look. From figuring out how long is a minute to mastering the basics of playing Nim, this book can be adapted for younger kids but seems geared toward older ones. It includes illustrated directions for each household activity and a notes section in the back gives additional information for those so inclined.

Math-terpieces by Greg Tang and Greg Paprocki

This beautifully illustrated book focuses on grouping. How many ways can you combine Cezanne's citrus, Seurat's circles, and Picasso's features to add up to the target number? It would be helpful to own this one, so younger ones can cut out the pictures and practice combining. If I can't find it at Half-Price, I may just have to attempt a little forgery.