Do you have a child who is learning about symmetry? Or fractions? Or counting money (specifically the value of quarters)? Why not simultaneously teach all of these things? Yes, you heard me correctly! You can simultaneously teach symmetry, fractions, and counting quarters and the results will blow your mind! Why? Because this approach to teaching will not only introduce your child to a variety of basic math skills, but it will engage them in the HOWs and WHYs of mathematics!
Simultaneously Teach Symmetry, Fractions, & Money
We want math to really make sense to our children – and not only for test-taking purposes, but in order for them to gain a clear understanding of how to interact with mathematics in their everyday life. What a gift to provide them with this type of connection to the world around them. Let’s make it happen!
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As you teach various math skills to your preschooler or elementary student, oftentimes you can interact with more than one concept at one time. I’m talking about simply connecting the dots as you go – providing your kids with visuals of everyday concepts.
How to Simultaneously Teach These Skills
Hands-On Activity Ideas:
- Use a mirror to explore lines of symmetry – discussing halves as you discover the two equal parts of a shape or object. Video Example of How to Use a Mirror in this Way:
- Interact with wooden fruit/vegetables (You could even use REAL fruits & veggies!): Discover and cut on the lines of symmetry – dividing the produce in to equal parts. Extend the activity by continuing to cut the fruit in to smaller and smaller pieces of equal size chatting about the fractional parts as you go.
- As you spend time dividing the fruit/vegetables, focus heavily on fourths and then halves – connecting those visuals with (1) Four quarters equal $1.00. (2) The face of a clock can be divided in to fourths (discussing a quarter after and a quarter til making sure to remind them that each of these are 15-minute increments – not 25 as the value of a quarter [coin] is $.25). and (3) Two-fourths of a fruit or vegetable is half of it. – Two quarters is one half a dollar. – Two quarter sections of a clock equals a half hour. (See how we’re working Telling Time in as well?) 😉
- Work together to make (and of course, EAT!) a pizza – or just order one for delivery if that’s more your jam! ha! Discuss lines of symmetry (a fun conversation if you’re pizza is circular in shape), then chat about halves, fourths, eighths – whatever conversation fits your situation. Give Me Half! Read-Aloud:
Donuts can also be a fun option for this activity!
- On a hundreds board, use quarters to count by 25s – creating the visual: Four quarters equal $1.00. One quarter is 1/4 of a dollar. Two quarters is 2/4 (1/2 – Yes, go there, too!) of a dollar. Three quarters is 3/4 of a dollar. Four quarters is 4/4 (1 whole) dollar. This is also a great opportunity to discuss 25 +25 + 25 + 25 = 100 and 25 x 4 = 100 and/or 4 x 25 = 100.
Depending on the age/developmental stage of the child you are working with, you may in no way intend for them to master all of this information. Some of the things you show them may simply be you taking the opportunity to introduce them to a concept that they may not master for months or maybe even a few years later. That’s okay! That’s the fun of this!
You are simply walking them through visualizing concepts by using a variety of resources in as many ways as you feel they are ready. Keep it fun! Take them as far as they’re able to go each time, and if you sense you’re losing them, stop – staying focused where you see them most engaged.
Resources Pictured in this Post:
Melissa & Doug Wooden Fruit (Similar as Pictured)
NimNik Wooden Fruit (Similar as Pictured)
Interactive Student Clock (Similar as Pictured)
Does simultaneously teaching these concepts sound like something that would work well in your teaching environment? If so, you might enjoy some of these other resources that I love!
Other Fractions Resources for You:
A Fraction’s Goal – Brian P. Cleary (LOVE his books!)
Other Money Resources for You:
Other Telling Time Resources for You:
If this post is confusing in any way, please message me! I want to answer your questions as well as update posts as needed! Sometimes it’s tricky to describe exactly how we’re doing things around here, and I want to make sure I do my best to explain ideas as clearly as possible!
Interested in how you can take the same approach with time, money, and math facts?
Check out a similar post full of ideas!