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Spatial Thinking Math Activities for Families

  • 1.  Spatial Thinking Math Activities for Families

    Posted 08-28-2018 11:19 AM

    I’m very curious how teachers use materials that are intended specifically for families (such as the one below). Is this something you would pass along to parents in your classroom and, if so, how would you share it (email to parents, weekly newsletter, posted in the classroom, word of mouth, social media)? What have you found works best?

    Check out these new materials that we just developed designed for parents to use at home with preschoolers! Early Math with Gracie and Friends Family Guide, that is intended to provide activities to improve spatial thinking. To encourage engagement and math talk between parents and children, the guide includes both hands-on activities, such as reading books, activities to do while engaging in daily travel and during mealtimes, hands-on activities with 2D maps, and a digital game  and an iPad game, "Map Adventure."

    • For example, families can engage in the On the Go Activities during their daily routines to foster spatial thinking and use vocabulary. For examples, as the family drives to school, the children and say "I spy….a squirrel next to the tree" or "I spy a truck next to the store").
    • Parents can also include spatial activities during Meal Times and practice using spatial words. For example, children can follow spatial directions to help create a yogurt ("put the yogurt inside the bowl" and "add strawberries on top of the yogurt").
    • Next, parents can engage in Paper Play Activities by creating maps and using those maps in a playful way.

    They're available for free. The work on these was funded by Heising-Simon's Foundation


    Ashley Lewis Presser
    Research Scientist
    Education Development Center
    New York NY