by Charesha Barrett
The Cleveland Public Library’s Kindergarten Club helps parents prepare their children for kindergarten. The program simultaneously provides parents with strategies to do at home while their children participate in kindergarten readiness activities. During the math session, we taught math concepts from the Number & Operations in Base Ten, Counting and Carnality, and Operations and Algebraic Thinking domains because number sense is foundational to the children’s future academic success. The children need to know the relationship between numerals and quantities. We read Eric Carle’s 10 Little Duckies to the children. After reading the book, they practiced using one-to-correspondence: (1) rolled the 10-sided number cube (2) counted the number of rubber duckies, and (3) placed the rubber duckies in the water pail. Parents are able to incorporate these concepts in their daily lives because math is everywhere. Here are some other examples that were used during the workshop:
- count the number of stairs in a hallway to help children understand the standard order of numbers
- recognize numerals and number names in stores
- practice counting by 1s and 10s up to 100 using a Hundred Chart
- Use subitizing to compare number values through playing Dominoes
- play board games that require counting
- develop story problems with stuff animals to help children add and subtract within 10 (other tools: number line, five frames, and ten frames)
- use ten frames to help the children with decomposing and composing numbers from 11 to 19
- practice developing patterns through creating necklaces and bracelets
Helen Keller stated that “alone we can do little; together we can do so much”. Communities, schools, and families need to work together to change the trajectory of these children’s lives. The premise of this program is that parents are their children’s first teachers. Throughout the Kindergarten Club, the parents stated their appreciation for the program, and their yearning for a First Grade Club. Did this program accomplish its intended goals? Are parents utilizing these strategies at home? These outcomes are hard to measure due to this being a library-based program. As we move forward, it is imperative for us to quarterly survey and interview parents and teachers to determine the “true” effectiveness of this program. There is a correlation between high-quality early childhood education and high school attainment. Recalling math facts with automaticity is crucial for students’ success in mathematics. In order to compete in a global economy and STEM careers, students must have exposure to higher-level mathematics courses such as Trigonometry and Calculus. Organizations need to continue to collaborate with libraries to provide support services to meet the residents’ needs.
Biography: Charesha Barrett, the founder of CHARP EDucation Consulting, provides professional services in educational leadership, professional development, and family and community engagement. This Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program alumna has experience working as an instructional coach, middle school teacher, and college instructor. She has a Bachelor of Science of degree in education from The University of Akron, and two graduate degrees from Cleveland State University with specializations in supervision and adult learning & development.