Each month, we feature a different guest blogger with valuable insights and information to share about young children and math.
Check back weekly throughout the year so you don’t miss a single guest blog—and join in the conversation by asking questions or leaving comments at the end of each post. We’re excited about this new chapter in the Math at Home project—and we hope you are too!
About our guest blogger Christopher Kruger, M.A.
Christopher Kruger, M.A. teaches prekindergarten and kindergarten at Plato Academy, a PK-8 school that embraces the philosophy that children gain a more thorough understanding of a subject if they experience it holistically. This holistic approach to learning reflects Kruger’s own philosophy that the purpose of education is to create whole people—citizens of the world—who are ready to gather their own information and come to their own conclusions. He believes that teachers and parents should focus on asking great questions, rather than providing easy solutions or encouraging rote learning. Prior to his current position at Plato Academy, Kruger served as a first-grade teacher and third-grade math and science instructor at the Sherman School of Excellence in Chicago and as a Math+ lead tutor for the Academy for Urban School Leadership. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a master of arts degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago and a master of arts degree in teaching from National Louis University.
posted by Chris Kruger Pictographs and Pie Graphs I’m going to start this week with a frank statement: I messed up this part of the exploration. When I was planning the scope of the exploration, I intended for the class to spend two weeks on bar graphs and two weeks on pictographs. I knew that […]
posted by Chris Kruger Welcome back to week 2 of making graphs with kids! Today we explore rolling out an exploration and pushing students to think more deeply about a concept. Let’s Make Bar Graphs! Since I knew the class had only limited exposure to bar graphs going into this exploration, we spent the first […]
posted by Chris Kruger The difference between an activity and an exploration Exploration based learning may be all the rage, but not every Pinterest post is an exploration. Explorations are intensive, thoughtful investigations into a concept, while an activity is a solitary project, isolated from any surrounding work. In my Pre-K/K classroom, the emphasis is […]
Let’s keep them itty bitty. My first thought about this article came from number reversals (Numbers written backwards). See the picture to the left. This picture comes from an assignment my kindergartner completed recently. Reversals are really difficult for him, however, he is wholly unaffected, unaware of them at this point. He loves to write […]
posted by Kate O’Donnell Struggling: As a parent, there is nothing worse than watching your child struggle. The awful truth is that every child, including my own, struggles. So, what do we as parents when our child is having a difficult time comprehending Math? Some thoughts: The help is at home. It will take some […]
by Kate O’Donnell Math can be hard, but don’t panic. Not everything comes easy to us. This is true for all people. Being an educator for over twenty years, I have worked with many students who have struggled to conceptualize mathematics. Each individual brings a different story. While some truly do have issues that need […]
posted by Kate O’Donnell Math really is fun. It can be misery trying to teach it, but magic when you integrate it into your child’s everyday life. It’s a mystery to me why some children have a natural affinity for numbers while others show no interest or may even resist them. It may be […]
posted by Brian Puerling Electronic music is not often considered a vehicle for young children to explore music or mathematics for that matter. At Catherine Cook School, where I am the Director of Education Technology, I oversee our AV Studio which is equipped with a sound proof recording room and separate editing room. In the […]
posted by Brian Puerling Young children are usually up for the challenge of an exciting game whether it be a board game, hide and seek, or simply guessing something. Scavenger hunts provide children with the opportunity, at its best, to develop skills around collaboration, observation, and communication. Taking technology out of the home and the […]
posted by Brian Puerling In 2016, I had the honor of being an Early Career Fellow for the Fred Rogers Center. In this role, my charge was to develop a concept for an application that brought art, communication, and language together. This open-ended application invites children of many ages to create stories independently or collaboratively […]
posted by Brian Puerling Note: Strategies provided in all four of February’s blog posts can be facilitated in both the home and the classroom, as well as other contexts. Young children are often intrigued by the sense of magic that today’s technology seems to possess. Though there is not magic in the devices, we can […]
posted by Leslie Layman What’s your favorite childhood math memory? It might sound like an odd question, but you can probably think of your favorite book or your favorite school experience. Math should be just a fun and joyful as the telling of a good story or a scientific inquiry activity. I often find that […]
posted by Leslie Layman I think one of the most exciting and hopeful things about working in early childhood is knowing that both young learners and early childhood professionals are some of the most diverse populations in our country. You can literally see the beginnings of a more equitable and integrated future in the making. […]