Thinking Citizen Blog — How to Structure a Math Curriculum for Kids Aged 4 to 8?

Thinking Citizen Blog — Friday is Education and Education Policy Day

Today’s Topic — How to structure a math curriculum for kids aged 4 to 8?

I recently committed to teaching my two grandchildren (Max, 6, Addie, 4) a little math on Saturday mornings. What should I start with? What would you start with? Do you have any relevant experience? I have written extensively on how to teach math. But that was all very theoretical. It’s crunch time. I have some decisions to make. Help appreciated. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

THE MATH JOURNALS AND COLORED PENCILS — my two first steps

1. In advance, I have sent them two things — notebooks and pencils.

2. Continuity is key to depth of thought and understanding. Loose sheets are bad things. Insanity. The journals have 249 pages each. They should be good for a while.

3. Within math there are subject areas of particular importance — eg. the math of you (your body, mind, heart, and soul), the math of nature (moon, sun, stars, planets, flowers), the math of money (earning, saving, spending),. Thematic continuity is key to the depth of thought. Different themes, different color pencils.

THE FIRST TEN MINUTES: QUESTIONING, LISTENING, CUSTOMIZING

1. Do you like math? What do you like most about math?

2. Do you like counting stuff? measuring stuff?

3. Why would anyone want to study math?

THE MATH OF YOU — one scenario

1. Have you ever noticed that you have different numbers of different things? (1 nose versus two eyes versus five fingers). How many hairs do you have? What would you guess?

2. Have you ever measured parts of you? or the whole of you? How tall are you? How much do you weigh? How fast can you run? How high can you jump?

3. Have you ever compared the length of one part of your body to another? How about your foot to your forearm? Your hand to your head? Your head to your height?

To be continued.

YOUR TURN

Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to education or education policy. Or the coolest thought however half-baked you had. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to education or education policy that the rest of us may have missed. Or just some random education-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make someone’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something that is dear to your heart.

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Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.