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Family – The People You Love

by Early Math Counts

This week brought my very good friend Stephanie and her two boys, Jack and Will, out to Chicago for a spring break visit.  Her oldest is starting to look at colleges, and so they planned this trip to the Windy City to take a look around.

Do you have people in your life who are not blood but who are “family”?  For 20+ years we have been celebrating life events with Stephanie and her boys.  We have parented our  boys together through the good, the bad and the ugly.  We have traveled together.  We have watched the boys grow up together. We are “family” in the truest sense of the word.

Last year, we got Stephanie involved in the Early Math Counts project, as she is an early learning math specialist, trained at Bank Street, with a very progressive view of early mathematics education.  You don’t know you know her, but many, many of the lesson plans on our site were written by Stephanie.

So this week we have talked about math.  I wish you could all hear how passionate she is about math literacy for young children.  She has BIG ideas about how to improve early math curriculum and implement exciting strategies to engage children in math. She believes that we have to try several strategies, frequently, until we find one that works for each child.  She understands that children approach math concepts differently but can all learn if given the opportunity to explore the concepts in a variety of ways, over time.  Her classroom is full of math.

She loves to play math games with children and has multiple ways of engaging them through game play.  With older children, she uses riddles.  Have you ever heard this one?

Down in the Valley of the Green Glass Bottles

There are lollipops but not suckers.

There is cheese but no milk products.

There are mittens but no gloves.


Children (8+) can begin to ask questions as they try and figure out what the requirements are to be down in the Valley of the Green Glass Bottles.  She will allow her classroom to ask questions until they figure out what the patterns are.  What is required and what is forbidden?  Can you figure it out?  Don’t use Google.

They leave tomorrow.  We will miss our “family”.


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