Orchard Kindergarten Students Are Using Math To Create Important Conversations About Family Identity

Orchard kindergarten teacher, Amanda Land, talks about how kindergarten students at Orchard used math to prompt discussions about families. In addition to learning important math skills, students discovered that some of their friends have different family dynamics, and that is okay! From families with two dads or two moms to families with eight people including grandparents under one roof, it was all discussed...with shapes!

Recently, we read the story Families, Families, Families. It talks about the different kinds of families and the thing we all have in common, which is loving one another. The interest in this book led to another important story, A Family is a Family is a Family. In this book, we learned about the different people who are in our families. Eventually, we created our own list of families and graphed how many people live in our house. We were able to practice counting, number recognition, learning how to use a graph to collect information, and learning how to read a graph.
From there we had each child create a house out of paper. We used symbols to represent the different people in our house. This activity incorporated our social studies unit on families, it involved fine motor practice (cutting with scissors), and mathematics (identifying shapes, counting, number recognition). Many great conversations were happening during this activity as students noticed the similarities and differences in their families. 
When putting the symbols/shapes in the house, one student-organized them based on height. 
"In my house, I put Mama on the top because she is the tallest, then Mommy because she is shorter than Mama. Then it's me because I'm the big brother. My sisters are twins but one is taller than the other one."
Kindergarten classrooms will also be doing the Family Suitcase project again. This allows each child to bring in five items that represent members of their families, traditions, or things they like to do with their families. They get to share these items with the class before keeping one item at school for an art project. Then around Thanksgiving, we will have our Artifact Fair where families can visit.
Enjoy some of the pictures below, and yes, it was pajama day! :)
Mrs. Land

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