Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Math With Mice: "Mouse Shapes"

I have mentioned before that I love children's books! Although I'm sure that wasn't a surprise since it pretty much comes with the territory of teaching young children. What I especially love though, are children's books that I remember from my own childhood. Two books I can vividly remember are Mouse Paint and Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh. 

So when I stumbled upon one of her more recently published books (or at least more recent than the nineties), I was ecstatic. Not only does it bring back fond memories of these mice characters, but it fit perfectly with our current math lesson. 

Mouse Shapes is a simple story about three mice who are trying to hide from a cat. They run into a pile of shapes and discover that they can make all sorts of things out them. Finally the cleaver mice discover they can make big scary mice with the shapes to frighten the cat away.

After reviewing our name shapes and reading the book, our class got to work creating our own mouse shapes. While I do model art activities for my kiddos, I really try to stress exploration and creativity in my class. So when a mouse ends up looking more like a robot or disproportionate monster, I am perfectly fine with that.


Using a variety of pre-cut shapes, we picked head, bodies, limbs and ears for our mice. Afterwards, I used this nifty recording sheet I got from (for the life of me I cannot remember but when I do I will give credit where credit is due). This was a great step to differentiate with my kiddos. Some were able to count and write the numbers independently, while my paras and I could work one-on-one with some kiddos who needed some extra support. 

After the positive response to Mouse Shapes, my preschoolers may very well have more mice in their future! Stay tuned.

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