Stems: Numbers everywhere

Stems: Numbers everywhere

January, 11th2019

Hello Stem families,

A quick announcement: we are expecting rain next week, so please make sure your child has full set of extra clothes in the cubby.  Thank you!

Now, welcome into our classroom this week:

This week we have been seeing numbers everywhere!  To keep building on their interest in numbers, we introduced measuring tapes during our small groups. We started by looking at the numbers on the measuring tape, noticing inches on one side and centimeters on the other and that both sides start with the number one.  Then, we modeled how to use the measuring tape and invited them to measure things around the classroom.

Some of the Stems were interested in measuring their height and talked about being measured at the doctor’s office. The Stems worked together to measure their height (with help from us) and then recorded the information.  The next time you are in the classroom you can take a look at the back of our door where we are starting to post some of these measurements.  As we worked on this, we also noticed them comparing heights, talking about who is the same height and who is taller or shorter.

Midweek, one of the Stems spotted a scale in the hallway and was curious about how it works, so we took it outside.   They were excited to compare the weights of their water bottles and then started experimenting with the weight of loose parts from the playground.

Keenan and Diego were determined to fill the scale up to 10 pounds and tried many materials, quickly moving from light materials to the heavier ones.  They noticed how much faster the arrow on the scale moved when they were weighing the rocks compared to weighing PVC pipes.  Some of the Stems then moved on to the challenge of trying to go past the zero, seeing how heavy they could possibly fill the bowl on the scale.

In addition to noticing that adding more items was heavier, using the scale also turned into a challenge of how to balance the items so that they wouldn’t fall off of the scale.  They noticed that they had to very carefully add the items to make sure they wouldn’t all fall off.

The experimentation with the scale is an example of the wonderful ways in which math and science are always intersecting in our classroom.

Exploring items on the number tray also continues to intrigue the Stems.  Last week some members of our class noticed that some of the number tiles were missing, so we got a new set of number tiles and it is quite a challenge to match them on the 100 chart.  Some interesting conversations happen when the Stems look at two digit numbers because they are so easy to confuse.  You need to not only be able to identify the individual digits that make up the number but also pay close attention to the order of the numbers. As an adult, it is easy to forget how similar the numbers 19 and 91 look since in our mind they are connected with numbers that represent very different values.

Some members of our class continue to add number pictures to our collection.

You can take a look at the laminated cards in the tray in the classroom to see the types of number pictures our Stems are creating.  These pictures not only show an understanding of what specific numbers mean but often they also show us that they are also sorting which is another important preschool math skill.

Logan and Shane spent a long time searching for all of the smallest circles in our collection and making a long line and then attempted to count all 55 of them.

Obviously, not everything was numbers this week.  We also have seen a burst of excitement over storytelling which we will tell you more about next week.  A few other highlights included: lots of pretend baking on the playground, molding the sand into shapes, pretending to fish over the fence, working with chalk on dark paper and our nature walk which included time for tree climbing and lots of running up and down the hill!

Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Ms. Inga & Ms. Soni