Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kid Reading and Math: 100 Days of Cool

 100 Days of Cool (MathStart 2) by Stuart J. Murphy was on my list of books that I wanted to read so I reserved it at the library.  I was super excited when it came in because I thought that this would give me a chance to do some math and talk about school.  Little did I know how much my son would enjoy the book.

In this book, Toby walks into school to see a group of his classmates dressed wild.  Maggie, Nathan, Yoshi and Scott  told him that the new teacher, Mrs. Lopez, is going to celebrate 100 days of cool.  Toby told them that misunderstood that it was 100 days of school, not COOL!  They decided that they were going to go to school as they were and for the next 99 days.  They wore crazy socks, decorated their bikes, wrote jokes on the board, and dressed in 70s clothes.  It was hard to be creative for that long and soon the class jumped in to help with ideas.  When, the four kids got to school on Day 100, they were covered from head to foot so that no one could see and then they revealed their crazy outfits together and had a party.  During the party, Scott worried what they would do when the fun was over!!

When I got this book, I thought it would just be a fun math book that we could read.  My son declared that they were counting the days at school and they were going to have a party at a 100 days.  I guess this is a thing that I didn't even know they did but he was super excited to read all of the funny ways that the kids dressed up and acted silly.  It introduced a lot of math things like a number line and subtracting big numbers without the kids even knowing it was in there.  There were even fractions but they were all in with the story so it went with the flow of the story so it was a great introduction to terms that kids might learn about later.  I would recommend this silly story because I think that most kids would love to see how other kids act silly!  I hope that you pick it up at your local library or bookstore.

At the end of the book, there is a section with information on different activities that you can do along with the book.  Point out the number line to the child and talk about how many days remain until the 100th day of school.  Make a number line similar to the one in the book and fold it so that you can show fractions.  Make a necklace with 100 Froot Loops or other cereal (and group colors by 10s if you are more advanced).  Look at the calendar and find the 100th day of the year after making an estimate of when you think it is going to be.  Count how many days to the next big event of the child's birthday.

In addition, they also suggest starting a collection of 100 things like pennies, marble or buttons.  Make a domino train with exactly 100 dots (I like dominos but this seems like it might be for older kids).  Take 100 pennies and collect them into groups between 3-15 and see how many different ways you can group the pennies so that none are left over.

While, they listed out all of these activities, none of them sounded like they would be in my son's interest.  I did give him an old calendar that I found that had no writing in it and asked what he wanted to do with it.  I asked him if we could go through the months and the days of the week (because he was doing it in school).  He said that he already knew all those and he wanted a marker.  I grabbed the marker and he wanted me to start spelling things for him.  He was writing a menu plan!  I was laughing on the inside but tried really hard not to crack a smile. 

The days of the week were different but he decided that he wanted to have spaghetti for dinner that night.  A few days later he said he needed his calendar and he took all of the meals and checked them off!  That is why there is a check in the middle of the picture.  I don't check off my meals but he thought it was important to do it and he was excited to have control over his menu.

We also decided to take the calendar and count what was 100 days from the beginning of the year.  I brought the calendar with me while we waited in line at school so that we would have time that we didn't have anything else to do because when I suggested we do it after he did his meal plan, he said that was silly.  I try to go along with things that my son wants to do when he wants to do them because it is the only way that I see his creativity.  He was much more interested in counting the days when there weren't any distractions.  I asked him to guess what month 100 days would fall into and he said that I had to go first so I guessed April and he guessed August (maybe just because it started with A because we are still working on the months in order and he doesn't know them).  I pointed and he counted and we got to day 100 and he cheered.  It was in April and he asked me how I guessed that.  I told him that I estimated that there were 30 days in a month and it would have to be four months and April is the fourth month.  Then, we counted how many days of school that he has been to and the day that I was dropping him off for was day 39 which he cheered.  So if you decide to count on the calendar, make it while you are stuck in the car and have your child's undivided attention because it really works!

If you are still working on the days of the week and the months of the year, it is a great opportunity to work those in as well since you are already looking at the calendar.  My son did this activity at school and I am going to work on the months at home just like this one!

I hope that you check out this book and incorporate a few activities to make it even more fun for the kids!  Any time of the year is good but the end of the year and the beginning of the year are particularly good because you can introduce how the new year starts!  I hope that you pick this up at your local library or bookstore soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I really appreciate any input or ideas so add your comment below.