“Look, I can pick up six blocks at once! It’s not even heavy!”
As teachers we can model appropriate math terminology and encourage our students to use mathematical vocabulary. Children used the blocks to build towers that are smaller than their body, larger than their body, and the same size as their body. They also built two towers of the same size.
“I wonder which is heavier, the stack of six blocks or two of these long blocks? Are they the same? They are? We can say the blocks are equal in weight.” Using real objects help children understand measurement concepts.
Here I go once more, rambling about the benefits we reap in the block area, during pickup time. If it wasn’t so innocent and deep, I would swear they were manipulating me. Give the gift of time. Toss out the clock, and let the investigations continue. Let the play buzz fill their little brain with a strong math foundation through play.
Before naps, I will bring out the book by Steve Jenkins, Biggest, Strongest, Fastest. This book describes animals that are the heaviest, strongest and tallest. It introduces the concept that determining which animal is the biggest depends on how you define big. We also love the math books, How Many and Which One Doesn’t Belong by Christopher Danielson. These great books help my group understand there are many different measurable attributes to consider when we say something is bigger or heavier.