November 2019 Newsletter – Promoting Mathematical Thinking: Families

Because math is everywhere, families have an opportunity to reinforce math learning at home. Create resources for families that communicate the importance of early math skills. Give a list of math language that families should incorporate into their conversations with children. Be sure to explain the nature of early math and developmentally appropriate practices.  We don’t want families to feel like they have to use flashcards or worksheets to teach their children math.  There are plenty of fun ways to play with math throughout the day. You can also:

  • Establish a lending library of books that contain opportunities to discuss math at home.  Attach an index card with guidelines for parents to follow before, during, and after reading the book.
  • Create math backpacks that focus on a particular math skill. Allow families to sign out a back pack for the evening or the weekend.  Provide detailed instructions for the playful nature of the activity and describe the importance of the skill.  Help families decide which back pack to take home based on what you know about the child’s skills and abilities. 
  • Give math homework. Again, this should not be anything paper and pencil related. Ask families and children to count how many turns it takes to get from the school to home.  How many stop signs or traffic lights are between the school and home?
  • Help families see how they can incorporate math language and skills into running errands.  Create a fact sheet that explains the math language the can be used at the grocery store, for instance.  You can also include ideas for how families can keep children engaged during trips to the grocery store by incorporating a few math activities. 
  • Host a family math night.  Prepare a number of different activities and games that incorporate math skills and language.  Be a role model for families so they can hear the math language you use and take those ideas home with them.
  • Be sure to document children’s learning and display evidence of learning in a place families will see when they visit the program.  You may be able to use social media, bulletin boards, daily sheets, conferences, or newsletters to highlight math learning. 

How do you encourage families to engage in math language and exploration with their children? Tell us on Facebook.

For the main article Promoting Mathematical Thinking, CLICK HERE

For the article Infants & Toddlers, CLICK HERE

For the article Preschoolers, CLICK HERE

For the article Kindergarten & School-Agers, CLICK HERE