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In the News(paper)

Level: K - 1

child reading newspaper

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Newspapers are good resources for building number sense and arithmetic skills and using mathematical reasoning.

What You Need

  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or crayon
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Hole puncher
  • Yarn

What to Do

  • Give your child a newspaper and a set of numbers to look for, for example from 1 to 25 (or 1 to 100 if she is familiar with the higher numbers). Have her cut out the numbers and glue them in numerical order onto a large piece of paper. Call her attention to any ways in which the numbers differ-for example, some will be a bigger size than others, some will be in bold or italic type. Have her read the numbers to you, then put the paper aside. Have her practice counting up to that number then counting down from it. Also try having her count to the number by 2s or 5s.

  • Next, have your child make a counting book by using pictures she's cut from the newspaper. Have her write the page numbers at the bottom of each blank page and paste one item on page 1, two on page 2 and so forth. Explain that all of the things she puts on a page must be alike in some way—all animals, all basketball players, all cars and so on. Help her to write the name of the items on each page.

  • Have your child read the book to you. Afterwards, ask her questions such as the following:

    • How many pictures did you cut out altogether (1+2+...+10)?
    • How many total pictures are on pages 1-3? on pages 1-6?
    • We know that 6 = 2 x 3. Are there twice as many pictures on page 6 as on page 3?
    • Are there twice as many pictures from page 1 to 6 as from pages 1 to 3?
    • Which are there more of: pictures on pages 2, 3, and 4, or pictures on pages 5 and 6?

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Communications and Outreach, "Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics," Washington, D.C., 2005

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