In preparing for my planning meeting with the Kindergarten team today, I was looking through Kassia Omohundro Wedekind’s book, Math Exchanges: Guiding Young Mathematicians in Small Group Meetings. It’s a fairly new addition to my library, and I haven’t had time to spend much time in it, but Chapter 6, Kindergarten Mathematicians, caught my eye today and I skimmed through it. I like the way she refers to Kindergarten students as mathematicians. I think a common misconception about Kindergarten is that it’s not really serious math, but in actuality the foundations of all mathematical understanding begin in Kindergarten. That’s a pretty awesome responsibility!!
It’s hard to pick up a book or attend a professional development workshop on the topic of teaching primary mathematics without hearing about the importance of understanding 5 and 10. It’s just that critical. In her Kindergarten chapter, Wedekind devotes four pages to “five-ness” and another seven to “ten-ness”. Her activities have similarities to those in John Van de Walle’s book on early elementary mathematics. Like Van de Walle, she stresses the importance of subitizing and composing and decomposing numbers. So tonight I have for you a little Making 5 freebie. It’s based on a Van de Walle activity. Click on the picture to download the file. To use, copy on cardstock, laminate, and cut along the solid lines. You should have strips with 5 triangles, 4 rectangles, 1 pentagon, 3 hexagons, 2 trapezoids, and the two Math Talk cards. Students manipulate the cards to create combinations of 5. The Math Talk cards provide a framework to help guide their work.