You might think this is just a nice picture of our school with a LOT of windows, but allow me to tell you the incredible math learning story that helped create this picture.
Our curriculum's mathematics big idea is "young children have a conceptual understanding of mathematics and of mathematical thinking and reasoning". With directed support, "math can be seamlessly integrated into children’s ongoing play and activities" (Capacitiy Building Series, 2011).
During Thinking and Learning time, S.P asked me, "how many windows are in the school?" Together we pulled out the building plan of our school and talked about ways to determine the number of windows. Through discussion, she decided to use a marker to cross out each window as she counted it. She used counters to represent each window. As she marked off a window with the marker, she placed a counter in the bin.
While working she exclaimed, "this is a big number Ms. Tompkins, you're going to help me!" I decided to bring her problem to the other students. As a class, we decided she should put the counters into groups of 10 because that would make it easier to count. The class found the number of windows on the main floor was 35. She then counted the number of windows on the second floor, using the strategy the class decided on. She grouped the counters and found out there were 75 windows in the school! She then drew the picture you saw at the beginning of this post, the school with 75 windows.
Here is the story in pictures:
Remember, children have an incredible capacity for learning, thinking and representing their understanding.