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Main Curriculum Tie:
The Jolly Postman
Background For Teachers:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
On the Way to Grandma’s House
Talk with the students about how they are not always at home. Where are some of the other places that they go? Make a list of their responses. Some ideas are: school, out to eat, to see a movie, shopping, church, Grandma’s house, to a friend’s house, etc.
The Jolly Postman
Ask students why we need maps. Who needs to use a map? Some answers could include: a bus driver, Mom and Dad when driving to a new place, a delivery driver, EMT, etc. What would happen if they did not know how to use a map and they were trying to find a place that they had not gone to before? When we read Little Red Riding Hood, we made a map of the path that she took through the forest to Grandma’s house. We are now going to be reading a story about a postman and all the letters that he has to deliver. Then we are going to make a map for him to follow.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2003). Navigating through problem solving and reasoning in pre-kindergarten–kindergarten. NCTM. Reston, VA. 3.
Graphic representation is when we use symbols, words, illustrations, graphs, and/or charts to help students understand mathematical concepts. Students and teachers can create, interpret, and combine information in order to better understand the concept being taught. When students are able to use drawings and/or manipulatives, they can begin to understand that using representation (symbols) can help them solve many mathematical problems. Representation helps to strengthen students’ problem solving abilities.
Frazee, B. & Guardia, W. (1994). Helping your child with maps and globes. Glenview, IL. GoodYearBooks, Scott Foresman, 7.
Maps and globes are symbols of real things. The symbols on maps, such as the legend/key or the cardinal directions are representations of real things. Young children need to have many concrete experiences to help them understand the concept that symbols are representative of real things and places. It is helpful for students to have some of their early experiences with symbols based on symbols that are representative of things in their everyday life. Children should be given the opportunity to create symbols of their own for things in their immediate surroundings.
Hartshorn, R. & Boren, S. (1990). Experiential learning of mathematics: using manipulatives. ERIC Digest. ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools. 11/28/2006. From http://www.eric.ed.gov.
When students are actively involved in their education their learning is enhanced. The use of manipulatives allows students to touch and move objects to introduce or reinforce a concept. The idea of this type of hands-on learning is especially helpful when presenting abstract ideas. This is not a new idea. In the early part of the 20th century, Maria Montessori supported the type of active learning that manipulatives can give to students. Since 1940, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has supported the use of manipulatives.
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