June 2023 - Math in the Summer Months

With summer fast approaching we wanted to take some time and explore different ways you can engage children with math while they are not in school.  


Everyday Conversations 

There are numbers and math all around us, and it is easy to bring it up in your everyday conversations. Some examples include talking about the distance from one place to another and how long it will take to get there, reading the time, figuring out how much time has passed or how long until an event, talking about numbers you see on signs and what they represent, and tracking the daily temperatures. 


Cooking and Baking 

There are many great opportunities to learn math while cooking and baking at home.  They are great ways to practice weighing, measuring, ordering, estimating, adding, and multiplying. 



Games have the potential to help students develop a strong Number Sense and computational fluency.  From fundamental early number concepts, such as counting and quantity, to gaining a familiarity with patterns in our number system (10, 100, 1000), to developing multiplicative thinking through the use of arrays, games promote a strong sense of number in children and provide meaningful insight into children’s mathematical understandings. Games are also a great way to encourage students to start to think ahead - to use problem solving, as well as logic and reasoning when playing. 

When choosing a math game, keep in mind the following considerations:

  • ​What mathematical ideas or strategies is the game developing?
  • Would the game be best played competitively or cooperatively?
  • Does the game emphasize thinking rather than speed?


Math in the Outdoors

As you are outside with your child, there are many rich and meaningful activities to engage in. Here are some to try out:  

  • Collect data about the natural world (e.g. types of birds, how many maple trees do you see?)

  • Creating shapes out of found objects - discuss properties of shapes 

  • Shape hunting 

  • Determine the height of trees or poles using shadows 

  • Finding symmetry in nature 

  • Determining the area of different spaces 

  • Figuring out distances and how long it will take to travel between points 

  • Looking for similarities and differences between plants and trees  

  • Look for patterns in nature and discuss how you know it’s a pattern  


Celebrating the Many Global Contributions to Mathematics

Throughout human history, people from many cultures and societies have contributed to the continuously developing understanding of math.  As a part of each monthly newsletter, one of these many significant contributions will be shared in celebration of how diverse ways of knowing have shaped our mathematics today.

Did you know that the Inca people created a mathematical recording device, called a Quipu, using strings and that it was essential in the administration of their empires?  Quipus were used over 3600 years ago to keep records such as taxes, census information and military organization.  


To learn more about Quipus, please visit this World History web page