Make it real

Our work with mulitplicaiton and division is very hands-on.  Early exploratins with concrete materials make problems real.  We also have FUN with math!  I connect math to literature and art whenever I can. We read aloud The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins as we learned about equal shares.  Then we explored with other numbers.  Thinking about trays of cookies and kids is something children can

relate to.  

When I introduce division, we act out problems with dogs and dog bones.  The children love taking the roles of dogs, and holding dog dishes as we distributed the bones.  We can break up dog bones to illustrate fractional remainders.

Math is all about stories.  It is never isolated, but is a way of explaining real events.  Whatever we are learning, I push the children to

explain what is happening.  If a child says, "you just do this, or multiply this," I will push them to tell me about the action.  If we are dividing, it is important that students understand the idea of equal shares.  When we talk about remainders, we must distinguish between things we can split up (candy, money, etc.) and things we can't (children, cars, etc).