About a month ago Simon Gregg posted a string of images about 100-books that were assembled by his class of 5 and 6 year olds. On each of page there was a group of items that added up to 10. That’s 10 pages of with 10 items, so it’s a 100-book. I want to do this project with 5 and 6 years olds! I ‘ve been in kindergarten classrooms all this week, doing a literacy based book project, but I noticed that there was one 40 minute block of unscheduled time in my schedule so I asked one of the teachers if I could try out this project with her class.
40 minutes was just enough time to get this book started, to get a feel for it. I assembled books for the whole class, just to expedite getting to the content. Although I didn’t realize about how this project would be received, the bottom line is that the kids enjoyed it, were enthusiastic to continue working on it, and seemed to be making some new connections. I debriefed with the teacher the next day and we agreed it’s a project worth developing. She is continuing the book without me: her kids are demanding to finish!
I wanted this to be a tactile book, and one that combined objects and finger counting. I brought in lots of foam, sticky-backed items. Students put a number of items on the page, hopefully in an arrangement, then traced the number of fingers they would need to make the total of items and fingers equal ten.
When there were less than five fingers to trace, the finger image looked rather odd, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.
Our first page, which I don’t have a photo of, was two tracings of hands, so that was five plus five equals ten. I noticed, when looking through the books afterwards, that a few of the kids wrote 5 + 5 = 10 on every page: these kids were not connecting the items on the page to the number sentences. When I talked to their teacher about this she said that having them assemble the items, make them equal ten, and writing the number sentence was probably too much to do so quickly.
If I get a chance to properly do this project, these are the things I’d change or keep in mind:
- I’d say we should do groupings of items on all of the pages as being one step (rather than finishing each page completely before moving on)
- Next step would be going back to figure out how many fingers it would take to make ten and then creating the tracing of the right number of fingers. Even though the fingers looked funky, I really like including them in this book.
- Last step would be to revisit each page for a third time, this time to write the number sentence that describes the page.
- I’d slow down and make sure kids were putting their items in groupings that could be recognizable to them.
Given enough time, I think that I would have the students make each page on single sheets, then bind them together with a simple pipe-cleaner binding, kind of like this one : https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/pipe-cleaner-bound-scrapbook
I’d probably have the kids make a big origami pocket to store all their pages in before they are bound together.
I like the idea of using items in the book that are slightly 3D, like these foam sticky-back pieces, but I’d think it would also be great to have other things, like cotton balls or popsicle sticks, that the kids glue in. I like having them work with glue.
The kids that Simon Gregg worked with included some playing cards in their books. This is something I’d like to do. My local thrift store sometimes has used sets of playing cards that I can pick up cheaply.
Hopefully I’ll be writing more about this project as I get more of a chance to do it with more kids.
Do take a look at this twitter thread that got me thinking of this project. The videos towards the end of the thread are precious.