Where’s the Math? Books, Games, and Routines to Spark Children’s Thinking
About the Book
Make math learning both meaningful and fun by building on children’s natural curiosity to help them grow into confident problem solvers and investigators of math concepts. Using five math-related questions children wonder about as a framework, this book helps you go deeper into everyday math with children by offering
- A basic overview of math ideas behind matching and sorting, patterns, number sense, measuring, and spatial relationships
- 20 activities appropriate for children in preschool and kindergarten based on new and classic children’s books, games, and classroom routines
- Suggestions for individualizing activities for diverse learners
- Recommendations for more than 75 children’s books that encourage math-rich thinking and investigation
- Examples of intentional questions, comments, and conversations that stretch and focus children’s understanding of math concepts
Empower yourself with the guidance and ideas in this practical resource to use play and storytelling to challenge children to think more complexly about the math in everything they see, hear, and do.
Table of Contents
Matching and Sorting
Chapter 1: How Are These the Same? How Are These Different?
- Not Quite the Same
- Resorting to (Re-)Sorting
- Sorting with Shoes
- Oh, the Weather Outside!
- Chapter 1: How Are These the Same? How Are These Different?
Chapter 2: What Comes Next?
- Pattern Detectives
- Stairstep Story Patterns
- Cycles as Patterns
- And . . . Action!
- Chapter 2: What Comes Next?
Chapter 3: How Many Do We Have, Need, or Want?
- Some Frogs Here, Some Frogs There
- A Treat to Eat
- Counting By Feet
- Counting in My World
- Chapter 3: How Many Do We Have, Need, or Want?
Chapter 4: How Big Is It?
- Building with Blocks
- Finding the Right Fit
- Bigger This Way, Bigger That Way
- The Letter Club
- Chapter 4: How Big Is It?
Chapter 5: Where Is It?
- Obstacle Course Adventures
- Shaping Up a Quilt
- Shape Scavenger Hunt
- Build-It Challenge
- Chapter 5: Where Is It?
- Final Thoughts
- Book List
- About the Authors
Publish Date: 2019
Playful Math: How to Teach Essential Concepts with Fun Mathematical Games - Watch a recorded webinar on playful math instruction. This webinar explores fun games that preschoolers love to play—and that teaches important mathematical concepts (like categorization, cardinality, and one-to-one correspondence)!
Play Games, Learn Math! Playing with Patterns - In mathematics, patterns are more than beautiful designs—patterns follow a recognizable rule or sequence that allows us to predict what comes next. As you engage children in everyday activities, help them notice patterns and describe them in words. (Teaching Young Children, December/January 2018)
Playful Math Instruction in the Context of Standards and Accountability - In this article, Marylou’s preschool class is learning multiple components of the math curriculum, including categorization, basic number skills (counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, writing numbers), graphing, and measurement. (Young Children, July 2017)
Looking for more resources on MATH? Visit our topic page to browse our collection of articles on the topic.
Mary Hynes-Berry, PhD, is a faculty member at Erikson Institute’s graduate school of early childhood education. She is also senior content developer for and a founding member of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative, in Chicago, Illinois.
Laura Grandau, PhD, is adjunct faculty at Erikson Institute as well as a teacher educator, researcher, and classroom teacher with expertise in teaching and learning math and science. Formerly, she served as manager of education programs at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago and senior program developer for Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative.
This great resource not only supports teachers as they cultivate mathematical thinkers in fun, developmentally appropriate ways, it does so by naturally infusing rich conversations and early literacy skills! A must-have addition to any early childhood classroom.
—Jessica Mercer Young, Senior Research Scientist, Education Development Center
This book is an insightful guide to helping children discover, learn from, and fall in love with the math that is all around them. While clearly grounded in early math learning research, it’s written in a style that makes the topic approachable, immediately useful, and compelling.
—Eric Dearing, Professor of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Boston College
Where’s the Math? shows you how to support children’s mathematical thinking and inspires you to look at everyday experiences through a mathematical lens. Using this resource, you can intentionally shape your “math talk” to help children understand the relationship between their play and the big ideas in math.
—Cate Heroman, Early Childhood Consultant and Author, Cate Heroman, LLC
This book is much more than a collection of activities—it is an engaging set of explorations teachers can adapt to engage young learners in finding the math that is all around us.
—Jie-Qi Chen, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Founder of the Early Math Collaborative, Erikson Institute
At last! This well-written book gives concrete examples of ways to build on children’s natural wonder and curiosity about the world and to support their mathematics learning. Where’s the Math? is a valuable resource for any early childhood educator.
—Kristen E. Reed, Senior Project Director, Education Development Center
Each chapter of this must-read resource describes practical classroom activities for increasing children’s mathematical thinking and concept mastery through real-life investigations and problem-solving situations.
—Danielle Davis, Pre-K Teacher, Metro Nashville Public Schools
The authors of this important book make a compelling case that mathematics is everywhere in the lives of all young children. It is a valuable resource for early childhood educators who are committed to seeing the math.
—Danny Bernard Martin, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago