Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great Big and Teeny Tiny

Measurement is the main way most of us use math in the everyday world. From great big to tiny, measurement begins with noticing differences in size. Although preschool children may not verbalize measurement, they are thinking about it - from how tall they are to comparing how long their teddy bear is next to their friend's bear. During last week's Preschool Summer Camp we used the creative arts to explore size differences. We painted with teeny tiny brushes (and tiny fingers) and large brushes (and large hands). We compared space by using small and large paper. After reading the book Where's My Teddy, a delightful story about a mix-up of two teddy bears, one belonging to a small boy and one to a large bear, we decorated small and large teddy bears. We took small pieces of biodegradable Styrofoam pieces and created large sculptures. A large box filled with shoes, from baby shoes to clown shoes, not only provided for fun make-believe, but also generated conversations about size comparisons.

Using the exhibits in Water Ways and Math Connections, we explored quantity, size and balance. You too can facilitate learning by using early math vocabulary such as small/large or more/less/fewer when playing in these exhibits with your preschooler.

Explore measurement at home by offering varying sizes of paper. Pennant-shape paper allows children to draw naturally and encourages them to create tiny and large designs. Puzzles are another great way to explore size differences. Read more about puzzle play here.

Enjoy this week's montage of pictures. We sure had a fabulous time exploring measurement!

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