Thursday, September 12, 2013

"A" was once a counting apple pie too!

      Suse Macdonald illustrates this beloved poem, "A was once an apple pie" for children in her colorful, popular book. The poem, is an absurdly endearing classic by Edward Lear.
      I cut and pasted an apple pie pocket just for teaching simple math to the young students in our classroom. Teachers should probably laminate the pie and apples so that the game will endure for a couple of years at least. 
      I used tin foil for the pie's plate and painted, cut, and pasted construction paper for the pie top and the apples. These elements looked much like those illustrated inside Suse Macdonald's book. 
      Many people believe that it is a marketing device to produce multiple subjects using similar themes and illustrations. However, expert educators have proven that illustrating multiple academic subjects with similar visual cues helps to stimulate a student's memory, particularly if it is done within the context of a limited span of time. This is why preschool teachers consistently use the thematic presentation of multiple subjects. 
      Of course, it is much more entertaining for young students to count apples instead of dots on a page. Teachers try to make learning fun so that immature students will happily comply without too many complaints.
      For this apple game, students may be asked to add or subtract apples from the pie. The answer to their math problem is then what remains inside the pie pocket! All they need to do is empty and count the remaining apples to give the correct answer to the games question. This playful use of adding and subtracting pleasant visual aids greatly improves young appetites for math exercises. It also may ensure that little tummies will begin to grumble while playing it. 
      Why no serve up a healthy snack of chopped apples for an afternoon snack after reading the poem and playing the game?

An Alphabet' by Edward Lear read by Murray Lachlan Young

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