# Mother Goose Math: Hickory, Dickory, Dock...Count by 5s on the Clock!

› Mother Goose Math

Kids who can talk about math and explain their discoveries consistently show gains in achievement on problem-solving measures.

We also know that adaptive reasoning skills are developed through oral math talk and the sharing of ideas.

Mother Goose Math

Our students are used to seeing math as symbols and abstract concepts.  Talking about math is hard when they don't have the background knowledge.

Why is oral math talk so important?

• Adaptive reasoning is developed only through discussion with others
• Conceptual understanding flourishes with sharing ideas
• Increased achievement on problem solving measures
• Students are more likely to use sound number sense strategies
• Our brains are good at estimating large values, but we need language for exact numbers

I could see in my own classroom that so many students have no idea how to discuss math - they don't understand the language, there has been little experience with discussing observations and almost no background in refining and defending unique solutions to problems.

I wrote Mother Goose Math just for my class, and their ability to discuss math topics, use academic vocabulary and develop their own unique problems and solutions soared!

"Students do not necessarily talk about mathematics naturally.

Teachers need to help them learn how to do so."

(Cobb, Wood, & Yackel, 1994)

A study published in Developmental Psychology (2010) recorded parents talking to their children to see how often “number words” were used.  As all teachers would expect, there were large gaps among the families in the study.

Many students heard over 1500 “math words” every week, while others heard a mere 24 on average.  Do you think there were differences in academic achievement?

Attitudes about math also play a huge part in achievement.  Activity based classrooms where students talk through their discoveries and develop complex reasoning skills also achieve significantly better.

## Mother Goose Math

Mother Goose Math sets up learners for initial mathematical discussions as a whole group and develops a comfort level for talking about math.

It also allows teachers to continually monitor and reinforce what these math talks should look and sound like before gradually releasing their class to partnerships and small groups.

Mother Goose Math has over 100 pages of math talk and problem solving activities, along with working on fluency and comprehension skills.

There are 6 parts for every lesson:

• poem or rhyme for fluency work
• worksheet for phonics and comprehension
• colored picture along with prompts for teacher led math talk
• challenge and super-challenge questions for differentiation
• black and white picture for students to color
• worksheet that students use to develop their own math stories about the poem or rhyme

#### Would You Like a Sample?

A free sample pack of Mother Goose Math is available at:

5 Ways to Develop Daily Oral Math Skills

You can expect that your class will need to spend quite a bit of time sharing, challenging and explaining their ways of thinking to each other.

The first few times will likely be a struggle, as many kids have never really talked about math before.

In fact, each Mother Goose Math lesson could take 4-5 days:

• opening discussions about the rhyme and the picture
• fluency work on the poem
• whole group math talk about the picture
• small group work on challenging problems
• independent work for creating their own mathematical problems

An additional day may be for journaling about their mathematical discussions during the week.

This is where teachers really see and are able to analyze how well each student actually grasped the concepts and is able to incorporate using math terms and vocabulary into their writing.