The Stenhouse Blog

The Counting Book Re-imagined

Posted by admin on Apr 2, 2019 2:19:41 PM

How many do you see in this photo? Two shoes? One pair? Four corners of a box? What’s the right answer? Christopher Danielson would argue that there are many right answers, as long as you have a reason you can talk about. Like the first book in the Talking Math series, Which One Doesn’t Belong?,  How Many? is designed to get students and teachers talking about mathematical ideas. This time, we’re talking about counting and units instead of shapes, but the real math magic still happens in the conversations.

Not Your Typical Counting Book

Typical counting books usually go in order and tell the students what to count. The child’s job is to count, and the teacher’s job is to say if it’s right or wrong. The surprise is what different items will come on the next page, or how whimsical the drawings are.

In How Many? the surprise is the mathematics! Students can count anything they see on the page and the result is meaningful conversation about number language, counting, units, things that come in groups, and things that can be shared. In the beautiful and clear accompanying teacher’s guide, Christopher helps teachers learn how to anticipate and guide these conversations so students build essential ideas around counting, numbers, and place value. The pictures provoke deep thinking, and the students really get into it!

Benefits of Using Real Photos

Using real photos allows students to bring the conversation back to their homes and bring their home lives to the conversation. So, while they’re having a conversation about how many avocados they see in the picture, they might tell a story about making guacamole with their grandmother! The real pictures of eggs, pizzas, grapefruits, apples spark delightful connections.

More Benefits

Another benefit of having these mathematical conversations is clarity. Students practice communicating their ideas in a clear way so others can understand. They also learn to listen carefully to others’ ideas and discover that other people have different perspectives from their own.

Show one of these photos to one of your friends, family members, or colleagues and ask them, “How Many?” We promise that you will have a fun, meaningful conversation about math.

To pick up a copy of How Many? by Christopher Danielson go HERE.

Watch to see how these engaging images get children talking!

 

 

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