Friday, September 30, 2011
If You Don’t Fall Out of the Apple Tree!
Our kindergarten newsletter this week suggested reading books related to numerals 1 through 5 and counting. We’ve got plenty of counting books, but too often I find them unengaging – more like an album of number representations than a story. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against counting books. We love Hippos Go Berserk, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Overin the Meadow, among others. I’m just saying I’m picky. So as I went piling through B’s bookshelf looking for a counting book, I wanted to be sure it would be fun.
Tree Climbing + Rhymes = FUN
If you’ve enjoyed Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom, but not Chicka Chicka, 1,2,3, you are in for a treat. All the qualities that make Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom a classic (like catchy repetition, funny rhymes, and clever illustrations) return for a repeat performance in Bill Martin’s ChickaChicka, 1,2,3. This time, instead of the lower case and upper case letters, numbers 0 through 100 attempt to climb into the apple tree. The refrain is adjusted from “Will there be enough room?” to “Will there be a place for me?” The use of the word place is most easily understood to mean a space in the tree to sit, but could also be discussed in terms of numerical place values. By “reading” the illustrations and quickly catching the refrain, children will be able to read along and predict text, furthering the cognitive and language development. Pair a reading of this story with some number writing practice for some fine motor development as well. I mentioned as the summer wound down that I discovered I had not prepared B as thoroughly in math as I did in language skills. I appealed to his fondness for music and rhyme by working on forming numerals based on the directions in short poems. There are many versions out there, but I’ve linked to the one closest to what we use. Now that he’s had a little practice with single digits, B asks me to give him a “hard” number to write, so I’ve been putting together strings like our street address, our phone numbers, birthdays, and holiday dates. Maybe writing them as a unit will help him memorize some important personal data!
Do you have a favorite counting book? Or some tricks for number writing success? Hope you’ll share!