This March, kids can learn how math can be fun by participating in March Mathness!
March Mathness is a national initiative that promotes math at the same time as the basketball tournament March Madness. This program has become especially important in recent years when national test scores for math and literacy have declined.
Math has many day-to-day applications, and the connections between literacy and math are massive. Early math skills are linked with higher reading and test scores.
“As part of early literacy, one of the first things kids do is recognize shapes before recognizing letters. They recognize a circle and can then recognize a specific letter like an A or a P. Once they are at reading age, they connect patterns and recognize the patterns of what letters sound like,” says Natasha Forrester Campbell, early childhood services librarian.
Children notice word patterns through rhyming, music and poetry as they learn to read and write. But there are many ways for math to be interactive.
Take a walk and notice the trees or flowers. How many do you see? Painting by numbers or counting toys are simple activities that can be engaging. Baking is also an easy way for kids to enjoy math. Children can practice measuring, counting, and making something they can enjoy as a sweet treat!
"Kids in the upper elementary grades can double or halve a recipe, calculate the profits from a lemonade stand, or create their own secret code," says Jackie Partch, youth & family services librarian. “This can help them see how math skills are relevant to daily life.”
Celebrate this March Mathness by visiting your local library and interacting with science, math and literacy. You can do an activity at your branch, check out a book or participate in one of the March Mathness events!