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Exploring Mathematics Through Play in the Early Childhood Classroom

Amy Noelle Parks Beth Graue

Teachers College Press
This practical book provides pre- and inservice teachers with an understanding of how math can be learned through play. The author helps teachers to recognize the mathematical learning that occurs during play, to develop strategies for mathematizing that play, and to design formal lessons that make connections between mathematics and play. Common Core State Standards are addressed throughout the text to demonstrate the ways in which play is critical to standards-based mathematics teaching, and to help teachers become more familiar with these standards. Classroom examples illustrate that, unlike most formal tasks, play offers children opportunities to solve nonroutine problems and to demonstrate a variety of mathematical ways of thinking—such as perseverance and attention to precision. This book will help put play back into the early childhood classroom where it belongs. Book Features: Makes explicit connections to play and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Offers many examples of free play activities in which mathematics can be highlighted, as well as formal lessons that are inspired by play. Provides strategies for making assessments more playful, helping teachers meet increasing demands for assessment data while also reducing child stress. Includes highlight boxes with recommended resources, questions for reflection, key research findings, vocabulary, lesson plan templates, and more.
Author Bio
Amy Noelle Parks is associate professor of Mathematics Education at Michigan State University and former elementary school teacher.