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Positive attitude toward mathematics

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Home Activities to encourage a positive attitude toward mathematics is an excerpt from Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty. Learning at home gives parents an idea a week to challenge and motivate children. 48, four per month, educational learning ideas that can happen anytime.

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Home Activities to encourage a positive attitude toward mathematics

When parents show an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics around the home, children are more likely to develop that enthusiasm themselves. Collecting patterns, playing with spatial reasoning and number sense are all methods by which parents can easily encourage positive attitude toward mathematics.

Finding and collecting patterns: Exploring patterns everyday around the house and in nature is easy with games, sound, color, objects and movement. At first children need help to recognize patterns. Then they need to understand how a pattern is copied and extended. Finally, with practice, children can make predictions about patterns. Outside, children can find patterns easily with the side of a crayon and paper. Creating rubbings they can find patterns in leaves, rocks, and tree bark. Create a pattern album taking pictures of shells, flowers, waves on a shore, or animal coats at the zoo.

Playing with spatial reasoning: Playing with Blocks, cubes, Lincoln Logs®, Legos®, Tinker Toys®, puzzles, Jenga® cubes, and tangrams all help develop spatial reasoning, a foundation for mathematical understanding. With practice, manipulating objects your child gains an awareness of shapes and how they relate to each other. Even a family project using wood, nails and instructions on how to make a flowerbox can encourage spatial reasoning.

Learning about number sense: At first, children need an awareness of numbers. This can happen throughout each day by pointing out numbers on clocks, houses, phones, calendars, any number you see. Children need to learn what the symbol of a particular number means. Therefore, as they see the number three on a clock count out three blocks together. When they find a number two count two apples, together pointing and moving each apple as you count. Count socks, cars, cookies, simple daily objects. Then, move objects into sets…two socks, three carrots, four spoons. Playing board games that require a child to count numbers on a dice then count spaces on a board are wonderful.

Math through literature: Reading to children is a treasured activity in many homes. What better way to integrate mathematics into the lives of children than to read them stories that bring mathematical ideas to life? Children's books related to mathematics separate into four categories: counting books, number books, storybooks, and concept books.

Some titles to get you started:

-The 512 Ants On Sullivan Street by Carol a. Losi

-X Marks the Spot By Lucille Recht Penner

-Pieces =Part=Portion by Scott Gifford (Fractions, Decimals, Percent)

-Pizza Counting by Christina Dobson

-The Purse by Kathy Caple

-The M &M Counting Book by Barbara McGrath

-Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra

-Count to a Million by Jerry Pallotta

-The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta & Rob Bolster

-Reese’s Pieces Count by Tens by Jerry Pallotta & Rob Bolster

-Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta & Rob Bolster

-The Giant Jam Sandwich by Jon Vernon and Janet Burroway

-Divide and Ride by Stuart J. Murphy

-Each Orange had 8 Slices a counting book by Paul Giganti, Jr.

-One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes

-Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! A Mathematical Story by Marilyn Burns

-One Grain of Rice by Demi

-2x2= Boo by Loreen Leedy

-Mission: Addition Loreen Leedy

-Subtractions Action by Loreen Leedy

-How Many Days to America by Eve Bunting

-The Ant and the Elephant by Bill Peet

-The Sundae Scoop by Stuart J. Murphy

-The Rabbits Pajama Party by Stuart J Murphy

-On Beyond a Million by David M. Schwartz

-The Giant Carrot by Jan Peck

-Mathematickles! By Betsy Franco

-The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown

-A Fair Bear Share by Stuart J. Murphy

-Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan

-Math Potatoes by Greg Tang

-Math-terpiece by Greg Tang

-Fraction Action by Loreen Leedy

-I knew Two Who Said Moo by Judi Barrett

-Fraction Fun by David A Adler

A wonderful resource to check out is Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics available at this booklet helps parents communicate the importance of mathematics to their children. It also provides ideas for parents to become more involved in their children's mathematical education. A large part of this booklet is made up of fun activities that parents can use with children. This resource is for parents of preschool age through fifth grade, to strengthen their math skills and build strong positive attitudes toward math.


Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty is a new parent resource, filled with ideas to help children become the best they can be. Daily activities for family fun, that make subjects become more than pencil and paper, moving learning into everyday life. Learning at home can be purchased in print ($8.48) or eBook($4.48) form through

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