Rooster's Off to See the World, by Eric Carle, is a beloved children’s book. Not only does the story engage children it can also serve as a foundation for many mathematical investigations for primary mathematicians.
The natural progression from counting and making comparisons is to composing and decomposing numbers. The earlier experiences with sets and the relationships between numbers laid the foundation for young mathematicians to learn about operating with numbers. Using operations to make sense of situations in their world or to describe events in their world helps young children build an understanding of the need for operations. The discovery of some basic properties, such as the commutative property of addition, also allows students to build strategies for working with progressively larger numbers as they move from kindergarten through second grade.
Primary mathematicians first model “put together” and “take apart” situations using concrete objects, drawings, etc. These concepts are then expanded to composing and decomposing numbers additively. A connection to students’ prior work with building sets is important as students are developing fluencies with their addition and subtractions facts. Children need many opportunities to experience these situations. Incorporating a familiar story allows children to practice these mathematical ideas in a contextual setting. To effectively facilitate these activities, be sure to cover the common addition and subtraction situations found in Table 1, CCSSM, page 88.
Questions are provided that can be used during the development of the activity to determine the desired focus of the lesson. It is very important that young mathematicians understand that numbers are quantities represented by numerals, pictures, numerals, etc.
Materials are listed for each of the activities. The 25 pages include both black line masters as well as color masters have been provided. Suggestions for preparing the materials have been noted as well to facilitate making classroom sets for long term use.
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