Category Archives: Flexible Thinking

Mathematickles!

Mathematickles”

Mathematickles! offers a playful introduction to math concepts through a creative lens. Follow a girl and her cat through the seasons using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, graphs and tables.

This story promotes creative components of imagination, flexible thinking, original, and perspective. FYI: This is not a how to book.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: First, I like this book because of the unusual title. It piqued my curiosity about what I would discover between the pages of this book. Also, inventing new words is a favorite pastime of mine. Second, the fun interplay between the concrete nouns, which describe each season and the introduction of basic math concepts allows young readers to think creatively.

TITLE: Mathematickles

POEMS by: Betsy Franco

ILLUSTRATOR: Steven Salerno

PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003

AGE GROUP: 4-7

TOPIC(S): basic math concepts, seasons, creative thinking

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, flexible thinking, original, perspective

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Pick a holiday that you like to celebrate. Use three of the math concepts from the book to describe your holiday. Have someone guess your holiday. For example, pumpkin – seeds + sugar = pumpkin pie; dishes of food x laughter = family gathering; Thanksgiving

2) Create sensory chart for each season. For each season, list as many as you can think up for each sense. Choose items from the list to use with basic math concepts.

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
Tastes
Sounds
Sights
Touches
Smells

 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about poet Betsy Franco, visit:

http://www.betsyfranco.com/index.htm

To learn more about illustrator Steven Salerno, visit:

https://www.stevensalerno.com/bio/

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can An Ice Cube Tray Be?

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can An Ice Cube Tray Be?

Here is a plain, boring ice cube tray. Let’s change it into something else.

What else can you use it for?

Brainstorm a list of ways an ice cube tray could be used.

Here are a few to get you started:  storing buttons, sorting items, make edible treats with “hidden” frozen treasures inside them, a water collector, a part for a new invention

There’s a shark floating in my drink! If you could change an ice cube’s shape, what shape would it be? What would you use it for?

How could you use this tray of ice cubes to teach someone about the United States?

Pretend you are planning a birthday party for a worm, how else could an ice cube tray used?

Write a short story, using an ice cube as the main character. Besides melting, what else could your ice cube main character’s problem?

Have a cool day!

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

“Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems”

Teaching children at a young age how to be present and how to self-calm can become a beneficial skill that can help them later in life when faced with stress. In Breathe and Be, mindfulness poems set the stage for children to calm, relax, and be. These poems use nature analogies that children can easily relate to.

By the end of the book, a sense of calm and serenity prevails. Readers connect mindfulness with the beauty of nature. On the book’s back cover, this poem portrays rushing thoughts and centeredness.

Gorgeous illustrations create a soothing peacefulness while illustrating how readers’ awareness of their thoughts can promote mindfulness.

This book promotes visualization, flexible thinking, and nature.

TITLE: Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

AUTHOR: Kate Coombs

ILLUSTRATOR: Anna Emilia Laitinen

PUBLISHER: Sounds True, 2017

AGE GROUP: 4-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: visualization, flexible thinking, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is quoted: “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As an act of mindfulness, sit quietly in nature. Pick a small square of dirt to observe. For five to ten minutes focus only on that patch of earth, watching nature happen.

2) Try your hand at writing a tanka poem. A tanka poem has five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables. Here is an example that I wrote.

Up Above

by Ann Kelley

dollops of whipped cream

drift across speckled blue sky

like scoops of ice cream

piling higher and higher

until melting raindrops pour

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Kate Coombs, visit:

http://www.katecoombs.com

To learn about illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen, visit:

http://www.annaemilia.com