Unit 1 Family Materials

Math in Our World

Math in Our World

In this unit, students recognize numbers and quantities in their world.

Section A: Exploring Our Tools

In this section, students discuss what it looks like to do math in their classrooms. They work with the math tools they will use during math activities and centers throughout the year. Students have the opportunity for free exploration in order to think of mathematical purposes for the tools. Students are encouraged to use their own language to describe their work, as well as listen to the ideas of others in the class, which positions students as mathematicians who have interesting and worthwhile ideas to share.

The math tools students used in this section include:

connecting cubes

Center Activity. Connecting cubes.

pattern blocks

Center Activity. Pattern blocks.


Center Activity. Geoblocks.


Center activity. Blank 5 frame.

Section B: Recognizing Quantities

In this section, students continue to explore math in their classrooms, focusing on small groups of objects or images. Students may begin to see dot images in arrangements that allow them to know how many without counting such as these:

Dot image. 3 dots.
Dot image. 5 dots.
Dot image. 2 dots.

These lessons encourage students to notice and ask questions about math in their world. Students continue to develop the language to express these ideas and listen and share ideas with their peers.

Section C: Are There Enough?

In this section, students count groups of objects by touching and counting, saying one number for each object. Students answer the question “Are there enough?” and match and create groups with the same number of objects.

Section D: Counting Collections

In this section, students focus on the question “How many of us are here today?” Students think about different ways to answer the question and represent the information. Students also count collections of objects each day. Collections are created from classroom objects such as connecting cubes, two-color counters, pattern blocks, buttons, or objects to count from home. For collections of up to 10 objects, students begin to recognize that the last number named tells how many objects there are.

Try it at home!

Near the end of the unit, ask your student to count a given number of objects around your home.

Questions that may be helpful as they work:

  • How many are there?
  • How did you count them?
  • Why did you count them that way?
  • Are there enough for everyone in the house?