# Pizza Creations: Thinking About Ingredients, Combinations, and Sequencing

On the Mountain, it is cool enough to bake in the oven during the Summer months.  This is also a great time to make something together as a family, like pizza.   In our family, we have many different preferences when it comes to toppings.  Some of us like a plain cheese, some of us like pepperoni, and some of us like to put everything on it to jazz it up. This gives our family an opportunity to talk about the different combinations of pizza we can create, if you have a finite number of ingredients.

Let’s say you have cheese, pepperoni, olives, chicken, and tomatoes to choose from for toppings. You can easily make a cheese pizza, or a cheese and pepperoni pizza, or a cheese and pepperoni and olive pizza, or even a cheese and pepperoni and olive and tomato pizza.  How many different varieties can you make?

Thinking about the different varieties, or combinations, you can make is actually preparing the child to think and do the Mathematics.  At this point, you can just ask them to think, estimate, and calculate the number of combinations you can make.  They can draw pictures, or write each combination out.  For this age, I would suggest talking it out and creating some of those combinations with the kids.  What you are giving them is experience in working this out.  Be mindful of how many ingredients you work with though.  Start simple and then add more ingredients to choose from at another time.  Most importantly, have fun!

When making pizza and talking about the number of pizzas you can make, just take about five minutes with your child.  You can take more time if you want, but make it enjoyable, not like a quiz.  There will be a question on whether or not double toppings count as a different pizza.  The question is, by adding double toppings does this create a different tasting pizza?  This is a great question to discuss with the kids!

Keep in mind that you may have a child who can think this all in her/his head.  You may have a child who enjoys drawing out the pictures, or listing the combinations.  You may have the child who wants you to buy lots of pizza dough so that she/he can actually create all those pizzas to find out.  For this child, keep the number of ingredients to three!  We all learn differently and we all must honor the child on her/his learning.

Think about sequencing. What do you do first when making a pizza?  What do you do next? When do you add the cheese, or other toppings? This is another great way to have the little ones work on their sequencing and critical thinking.  Make this experience fun.  The end result is to create a great pizza, memories, and learn about Math!

# What Books Does Mom Have About Math? Here are just a few….

At our home, we have a lot of books about math.  I have been asked what books I have read or the kids used since they were little ones and even to this present day.  The best way I can do this is through photos and there will be repeats as I have taken these photos at different times.

As a note, none of the publishers, nor the authors have paid me or asked me to post these books on this blog.  These are books that we actually own, or have owned.  You do not need to get all of these books, just choose a one or a few and go from there.  Remember, checking them out in the library, borrowing them from a friend, or buying them are options.  The important thing to remember is to begin reading to your child, especially in mathematics. 🙂

copyright 2015 Learning Math with Mom

# A New Year? What is that?

Children usually think of time as either something that is done in a second, or something that is forever and usually there is nothing in between, at least it is like that with my kids.   So talking about a new year might be a great way to offer them a sense of time in terms of seconds, minutes, days, months, and a year.

Before you recycle last year’s calendar, spread out all the months onto the floor. You might need pieces of paper and something to write with. Decide what calendar year you are going to show them: a solar calendar year; a lunar calendar year; a religious calendar year; or a school year. Name the months of the year together as well. Explain to them what month you are beginning and ending with before you start and why.

Have the kids think about their birthday. What month does is his/her birthday? Write this down and place it on that calendar month, or have them practice their writing or drawing if they are ready. Did your family celebrate any festivals or holidays? Write them down or draw pictures and place those on the calendar month. Anniversaries? First day of school? Last day of school? Vacations? Trips to see family? Did family come over to visit you? Document those by having the child(ren) write down a memory, story, or draw pictures.

What about the seasons?  Together, talk about what months are in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  Were there any significant weather events that happened? A big snow fall? Monsoons? After this, have the kids step back and see what last year looked like.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

1. Tuesdays for Measurement (Time)

2. Monday for Sequence (Time)

3. Friday for Reading under “Write or Say Own Story”

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

By placing down the months on the floor, it gives your children a way to visualize time and to think back of all the things that happened that year.  It is also a great way to do something as a family, especially if the weather does not permit us to go outside.

Children at this age are at a wonderful part of life when time seems infinite.  To help them see and feel time, give them a visual that will help them grasp the concept of a year, a month, and a season.  It gives them a sense to see things in sequence in terms of what usually happens first in the calendar year. More importantly, if gives all of you a chance to learn math, draw pictures, write stories and memories, and spend time together, which I really appreciate in our home….with every chance we can get. 🙂

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

# Helping Your Kids Count Away Cold and Flu Season

With three kids, it is only a matter of time for someone to get sick, especially during cold and flu season. What my kids need to practice is washing their hands for at least twenty seconds each time. What I first started out doing was using a dry erase marker on the mirror and writing down the numbers 1 through 20. They had to look at the numbers on the mirror and starting counting while they were washing hands. At this point, my kids know how to identify their numbers 1 through 20. Now, it is 40 through 60, or 101 through 120. This also will give them a sense of what 20 seconds feels like.  It will give them a sense of time. Here are some examples to give you ideas:

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 3 to 5 years of age?

1. Monday for Sequence
2. Tuesday for Numbers

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

We can always say that we are too busy to teach our children at home, but we really are our children’s first teachers regardless of what we are directly or indirectly teaching them. What I am offering to you is showing you a simple way to help your children use mathematics as if it was not a big deal. The more we are using the mathematics in a more comfortable and useable manner, kids will be more open to working with the math when there is a bit of a challenge because it will be no big deal.

Remember to have patience when your child skips 48 from 47 to 49. The main point is to teach them to keep track of how long they are washing their hands to wash away those germs as much as they can. You will need to be with them to model and practice what it is you want them to do, but it will not take much time for them to do this by themselves 🙂 Keep it fun, keep it simple, and help your kids wash their hands and count away the germs:)

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

# Stop and Notice How the Day is Changing

What is day? What is morning? What is afternoon? What is evening? What is night? What is dawn?  There is a cycle that is being repeated by nature every time the sun comes up and goes down and the moon joins in at night.  Your baby, or itty bitty one can listen to you as you describe the day or night.  It is about being deliberate about what we already know about the parts of the day and to say it out loud so that our child can listen and observe.  Just like we sometimes point out that this is a yellow banana and the grass is green, and the sky is blue, so do we need to point out change in the day to our child.

Once your child is old enough to notice the clock or begin to talk, start talking about what time it is during the day.  When you are waiting to go out of the house to run an errand, or go visit someone, let your child know what time it is that all of you or both of you will be leaving?  Either write down the time and have it next to the digital clock, or have their toy clock set to the time of departure and have it near the analog clock.  Start talking about what time it is when it is breakfast time, lunch time, nap time, getting ready for bedtime, and time to go to sleep.  This routine you have set for them is associated with the time of day.  Beginning to point out what time opens the child’s world to taking note to time.

This piece of time is not about learning how to tell time by reading a clock, but the beginnings of doing so.  To learn about something, it is better to have a purpose or meaning connected to it.  By beginning the phases of time for day, you are establishing meaning.  The child will begin to notice that the sun is rising or setting.  The child can see that the moon is there in the sky at night.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

1. Saturday and Sunday for Go outside and Explore it).

This is a bit of a stretch, but to really understand what is day, what is night, what is morning, and so forth, the baby needs to see it outside.

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years?

1. Tuesday for Numbers
2. Saturday and Sunday for Go Outside and Explore It.  The child must know what day, night, morning, afternoon, evening, and night look like.  Go out and see the sunset or the stars!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
2. Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting and sequence)
3. Every day for Play Time.  Go see the stars and the moon, the sun and the sunsets!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

For this activity, it really is simple to do that does not take any toy or APP to teach.  It really does not take the necessity of buying something extra to teach as well.  It simply takes mindfulness in pointing things out to our child that we may normally take for granted.  When it is time to eat, say what time it is every time.  When it is time to take a nap, what time is it?  When your child wakes up, what time is it and do we say “good morning”?  What time is it to go to bed?  All of these things we normally do not say out loud because we take for granted of what we already know.

With so much going on in our lives and during the day, it is easy to let the day pass without knowing where the time went.  For you and your child, this is a time to stop and be mindful of the time of the day and time you have with each other.  Sometimes taking a moment to pause and notice the change of position of the sun in the sky or the different phases of the moon can really teach your child to be in the moment and paying attention to details.  I truly have been taken things for granted about paying attention to change and to details because things sometimes feel like a blur or rushed during the day.  It is refreshing to point these things out to my kids an just pay attention to the little moments, the subtle changes of the day, and the time it takes for the moon and stars to change the look or position in the sky.  This is a way to become more mindful of things and learn math.

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

# Yesterday was Thursday, Today is Friday, and Tomorrow will be Saturday

Since I am a huge fan of the dollar store, there was a time where I went to get inspired of what can be used to do a lesson.  It was close to the first day of school and the dollar store usually has many teacher kits and décor for the classroom and there they were, the days of the week.  Needless to say, this was going to be an experiment to see how interested the boys will be in learning about the days of the week.  So I made this dollar purchase and took it home to start sharing.

Before going into too much detail with my 2 year old and newborn about how many days are in a week and how many days are in a month and so on, I just wanted to start saying that yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, and tomorrow will be Saturday.  As I said that yesterday was Thursday, I would have my 2 year old repeat the word aloud to me.  I would ask him what was on the Thursday card; for example, the clock was on the Thursday card.  This would be repeated for Friday and Saturday.  Next, I wrote down the days of the week on his art easel.  The idea was to show him that Mommy was not just pulling day cards out of the blue, there was an order to them.

At another store, it has a dollar section and it had this plaque with the month, date, and day that can be changed from day to day.  I decide to do this instead of a regular calendar.  Now that my oldest is 3 ½ and my youngest is 2, a changeable calendar will be set up.  The boys might be ready to see how many days are in a week, how many days in a month, and how many months in a year.

Just so you know, my 3 ½ year old has been asking what tomorrow will be and what the day after that will be as well.  It certainly helps now to use the names of the days when family is coming over, or when there is a play date to look forward to.  The youngest is getting into this as well.  It did take some time for them to start asking questions and using the days of the week, but the fact remains that they are applying the concept of time and sequence.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months to 3 years?

Answer:  It’s not.  This will be on another adjusted calendar for 3-4 year olds that I am currently working on.  Once this is semi-finished, it will be posted on the website and added on this blog.  It will be under the categories of sequence and time.  In any case, it is appropriate to do the days of the week for younger ages, but that it might be best to emphasize this for 3 to 4 year olds.