What Does Math Feel Like?

In January and February, the educators of The Sharon Cooperative School will be exploring the idea of math with Kate Begin, Curry College Professor of Early Childhood Education. We will be exploring innovative and inventive ways to teach math using our bodies and senses – how does math feel, taste, and look? We will be making math a natural part of every day and weaving it throughout all of our activities. And best of all, we will be passing along the love of learning about math and a positive attitude of being math smart!

We will encourage among other things identifying patterns, classifying, and measuring using traditional and non-traditional methods. We will be exploring, experimenting, hypothesizing, and solving and using those words. Here are some of the skills we will strengthen through exploration and play:

  • the concept of how many
  • counting with understanding: what do numbers and their values mean?
  • connecting number words in different physical ways: i.e. add, subtract, equal to
  • learning commonly used fractions
  • feeling comfortable estimating (and sometimes being wrong)
  • completing patterns
  • identifying attributes such as size, color, weight, volume, distance, length, width, and shape
  • understanding space and location: what does it mean to be near, far, behind, ahead, inside, outside
  • the ability to experience an activity, then repeat it on their own and describe it using the vocabulary

Children learn through play, they learn at their own rates. We will provide them the opportunity to explore, to grasp concepts, to return to tasks to solve them in new ways with newly learned skills. Educators will observe, assess, revisit, and document. We will document the children’s math play and learning on the classroom blogs and on the walls of the classrooms and hallways. We will be excited to share our explorations and learning.

Some great resources to continue the learning at home:

Early Math Matters

Hands on Math Activities

Number Activities for Preschoolers


Author: Gail Ader

Early childhood education is my passion and I have worked in this field since 1998, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. Child centered learning in a supportive and developmentally appropriate setting is the key to high quality programs. As the Executive Director at the Cooperative Learning Community my focus is on supporting my team so that they can focus on their children and families.