Hey Kinder Friends,
I don't think I will ever get tired of looking for new books to use in the classroom and looking at books for multiple purposes and across subject areas seems to be a theme for me. I saw this book advertised and it had me thinking about tools. In all areas of our lives we use tools to help us accomplish the task at hand and to help us accomplish our goals. In Kindergarten, as we learn how to think and communicate like Mathematicians in Number Talks, we often use tools to aid in these discussions as we build a foundation in mental math.
So, what are the tools suggested in Kindergarten?
This is my first year of having a teacher Rekenrek and a class set of student sized Rekenreks so naturally I was thinking of how I would introduce this new math tool to a class of Kindergarten kids. With many math materials we start with free exploration but this math tool did not lend itself to that. And I really wanted to incorporate this learning activity into our already established Number Talk routine. I wanted this to be a whole group experience because we would be using Rekenreks in a Number Talk setting. I decided that I would start by reading the book and discussing how tools help us accomplish a task and discuss that Mathematicians use tools to help them solve problems. I knew that the children would want to try them out as soon as they were introduced. I thought that a game of Copy Cat would be appropriate to start with. I make it and you copy it. After each duplication, it would be a good time to ask the children what they see. As I was planning and incorporating this into my lesson plans, I started thinking about the hand signals we have already established. I wondered...if our hands are busy holding a tool would we be able to use our hand signals too? I knew we would never be able to do both because the beads would probably slide. So I plan on asking them to copy me and then when there hands are still and not moving I would know that they were ready. I knew with a little prompting and practice we would soon be well on our way to using a new math tool and eventually using it more efficiently!
These math tools can be purchased at eNasco.