Let's Plan a Math Party

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • May 6, 2019, 2:11 p.m.

I have a new favorite children's book to share with you this month! One is a Piñata by Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a rhyming, bilingual counting book for ages two to ten. One of my favorite things about this book is its exploration of the Hispanic culture. Being born and raised in San Antonio, Texas myself, I've grown up celebrating and appreciating all things Fiesta- a cultural celebration featured in this book. While reading, I learned a few new Spanish words and had to use my inferring skills to determine what unknown words meant. The book also contains a glossary that allowed me to check my inferences for accuracy.

What's even better about this book is that we learn how to have a fiesta! Since planning a party is a fun way to use math, I can't resist sharing my ideas for using this book in the classroom.

Start by asking students to find the math on each page. Depending on the age, students might be working to keep one-to-one correspondence between counting words and objects or going as a far as recognizing the equal groups of objects on each paper.

Next ask students to make models, represent, and write number sentences for the objects on each page. They will want to study the illustrations carefully to see all of the possibilities.

Discuss and create word problem situations using the objects and situations depicted.

Determine the total number of objects needed for the fiesta.

Compare the objects to the people at the fiesta. How many objects will each party goer get or use? We find out on the last page that 10 friends will attend the party.

Make a shopping list for the fiesta and estimate the amount of money needed to purchase everything. Determine a way to test the prediction and compare the prediction to the actual cost. Don't forget tax (if appropriate).

Now have an end-of-the-year fiesta! As we wrap up the school year, I can't think of a better way to celebrate all the learning that has taken place. Viva Fiesta! Viva Saber!

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

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Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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