Expand Children’s Math Thinking Through Comments, Questions, and Conversations

  • Math is “hiding” in many everyday family activities (we offer tips for finding it).
  • Parents and caregivers support their children’s math development when they notice and talk about math in their daily routines.
  • Deepen children’s math thinking by expanding comments and asking questions.

1. Notice the Math

Tips for revealing the hidden math in everyday life (download PDF).

2. Talk About the Math

3. Ask Questions and Have Conversations

  • Playing with toys: What can fit inside the house? I wonder what will happen if you turn Teddy another way?
  • Playing pretend games: How can we share the watermelon? We can make a rainbow pattern with these colorful fruits!
  • Preparing meals: How many plates do we need so everyone has a plate?
  • Gardening: Let’s see how far apart we need to plant the seeds. How can we measure the distance?
  • Waiting in line: How many people are in front of us? Which line is the shortest?

4. Model and Praise Problem-Solving

  • How can we figure it out?
  • What’s another way we can try?
  • What do you notice?
  • What is the same? What is different?
  • Tell me what you are thinking!

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