This week for math, children are using the Addition Strip Board, a new work that helps us practice addition with numbers 1-9. Addition is a concept that we've been exploring in various ways over the past few months, and the Addition Strip Board provides a structure (a grid with a number line on top, with blue and red rods to represent the numbers) that helps children add two numbers together. With a teacher, children have been taking turns modeling different addition problems with blue and red wooden strips. Some children intuitively know how to use the board, lining up their strips and looking at the number line on top to see the sum--it is amazing how materials can really simplify and illuminate a concept!
When a child brought in a shark tooth that he'd gotten from a family member, we were inspired to do some loose parts exploration with a small collection of shark teeth that we found in the Multipurpose Room closet. Children used small shark teeth, together with pattern blocks, to make arrangements on the table. They made both abstract and representational designs, and also were fascinated by the shark teeth--they observed the shark teeth closely, touching the tip to see how sharp they felt on our fingers.