Monday, July 30, 2012

Jack the Builder, by Stuart J. Murphy

While teaching first and second grade over the years, I fell in love with Stuart J. Murphy's Math books. I highly recommend them for all young learners! Our three year old really enjoys how Murphy connects his concepts to real life examples that kids know about!! For example, in this story Jack the Builder, Jack uses three dimensional shapes to build things and his imagination brings his creations to life! All of Murphy's books show on the front cover what math concept the book will focus on.

 To see the level, look in the top left corner (the yellow triangle). It says, "Math Start Counting On". This book also allows for great teachable moments with 3-Dimensional shapes and making predications. It was fun to look at Jack's shape and ask Noah, what do you think his imagination is going to turn his creation into? Then we would turn the page and see!!

After reading the story, I invited the boys to build. We had a wonderful time mimicking Murphy's creations and coming up with some of our own.

I am finding with my three year old that it is so important to never underestimate his ability to learn "hard stuff". While we were playing I used the 3D shapes' names. (Sphere, cylinder, rectangular prism, cube, triangular prism, cone, etc.) He begin to use some of them without my prompting. Although his pronunciation was not always spot on he is beginning to realize that a ball is also a sphere.

       Even the little one enjoyed playing with the shapes! He decided to chew instead of build. :)

I encourage you to look for Stuart J. Murphy next time you are browsing on Amazon or at a book store! His books are incredible for introducing and reinforcing math concepts. Noah has discovered our math book basket is full of Murphy's books so I think he has picked an "Author Study" without knowing it! We will be exploring another tomorrow. Check back to see what we discover!

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