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How Learning Math Skills ‘Fits’ with Emergent Curriculum

by Heather Brandon
November/December 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/how-learning-math-skills-fits-with-emergent-curriculum/5020828/

As an experienced educator of some 25 years, I can appreciate the flexibility that emergent curriculum affords. I have been able to integrate my background in fine art and love for storytelling easily into my day-to-day work. But sometimes projects take off in unexpected directions and when an exploration of boxes evolved into an intense interest in mathematical concepts and measurement, I was way out of my comfort zone.

Coming from what I can only call an 'old school' mentality, I believed that the only way to teach and to learn math was through rote and repetition. As a child, numbers were not my friend! Actually, nothing at all to do with math (calendar, telling time, money, measurement, percentages, or equations) made any sense to me. As a result, I have made it a point to avoid these whenever possible. As an educator, this discomfort — more accurately anxiety — has made me hesitant to consider the possibility of more inspiring ways to help children develop mathematical competencies. When the box exploration intensified, I found myself backed into a corner. The ­children were so engaged, so enthusiastic, that I had no choice but to accept the challenge as an opportunity, and see ...

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