YES! We can talk about math within ANY book at all!
Pick up your child's favorite book, and try out the ideas below.
Use words and phrases like, next to, under, on top of
to describe objects on the pages. Ask children questions like, what's behind the girl on the cover
? This talk promotes children's spatial reasoning
Shapes and Their Attributes
Support children to talk about the shapes
they see on the pages, and if they're ready, talk about shape attributes too. That is, what are the features of the shape that make it that shape!
How do you know it's a triangle? It has 3 straight sides, all connected at 3 points (or corners). Not a perfect triangle? Curvey sides? Not closed at the points? No problem! See if your child can tell you how
we could fix it to make it a triangle!
Counting and Number Sense
How many windows are on that building? Does the building on the right have the same number of windows as the building on the left? How do you know? Be sure to check that children can give ONE number word to EACH object. That's 1-to1 correspondence! Simple book chats like this build children's foundational counting and number sense
Mindset for Learning
Remember that it's ok - even good! - to make mistakes. We want our children to do well, of course, so for some of us parents, it takes some real effort to relax when they get things wrong. But it's worth it!
Did they miscount the number of windows? No worries. Ask them to tell you why they think that, what did they do? Can they show you how they counted?
Supporting children's math ideas even when they aren't accurate, letting children discover answers for themselves, and nurturing their curiosity about math in the world around them promotes a growth mindset and mindset for learning
. This is the stuff that lasts a lifetime.
It's good for us adults too!