Thank you!

Thanks for your continued interest in changing how we discuss math in our homes and with our students! 

I look forward to sharing math strategies and ideas with you in the future. 

In the meantime have you used this prompt with your kiddos? 

Read the prompt out loud and let your child think. He/she may say 20. Ask them to describe how she/he counted them. Your child may say:

  •   “I counted each star up starting at 1, 2,3,….up to 20.”  OR they may say, 
  •   “I saw that two stars were in each circle, so I counted by 2s (or I skip counted) 2,4,6, up to 20″. Or they may say,
  •   “I saw each column is 4 stars so counted up by 4s”. OR they may say,
  •   “I saw two rows of 10 in each row. 10 + 10 is 20”. OR they may say
  •   “There are 5 columns of 4 so 5 times 4 is 20.”


When your child tells you how they counted ask her: “Another child counted them a different way. Can you see which way they counted?” This will prompt your child to see those other groupings. They will start to make connections between adding, and multiplying. Did he/she count they same way you did? Share YOUR strategy with your child. You can extend the problem after too. Ask them “If we added two more circles, how many stars would be there now?”

As an example, watch/listen here while two seven year-olds talk their way through this patterning problem.

The pictures will prompt you to count, predict, follow a pattern, reason, and order. Get ready, snuggle up, and transform your nightly discussions!

Jon Orr is also a regular contributor on these websites:

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