We love that the Ottawa Public Library shares some of their favourite books for children with us. This month's post is byElizabeth Thornley, Coordinator, Children and Teen Services. Some of us start a new year with the idea that we might take a course or learn a new skill. Barb Clubb, who has been City Librarian for the Ottawa Public Library for the past 16 years, is retiring at the end of 2011. One of her plans for the new year is to learn to ride a motorcycle! Maybe you are thinking of learning a new language or starting a Zumba class. The Library has books, DVDs, videogames and online resources to help you with all of your learning needs.
Perhaps the new year will see your supporting your child as they develop literacy and numeracy skills. We know that there is print all around us – signs on the street and on stores or on labels on food and other products – that we can use to help children recognize and understand letters and words. Numbers too, are all around us, and with a little thought we can help children begin to develop numeracy awareness. Counting stairs as you climb, playing card games, or measuring baking ingredients together – these are just a few of the ways you can incorporate numbers into your day.
The Library has some great books for young children that feature numbers, counting and arithmetic. Used any numbers lately? by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman is an alphabet book and a number book that uses a simple format to remind us of the many uses of numbers. Bus numbers, room numbers, phone numbers, jersey numbers – we really do see hundreds of numbers every day!
Literacy and numeracy also come together in a fun counting book by Jean Marzollo. Help me learn numbers 0-20 uses photographs of cute and unusual toys and ornaments paired with rhyming verses to help children learn to count. Each verse ends with a blank space that allows the child to answer the question of how many objects are on the page. “Oink! Oink! / Who are you? / How many piggies? / I count ____ (two). Porcelain piggies and funny monsters, just asking to be counted!
If your child has reached the next stage and is ready to begin simple addition, check out Let's add to ten, again and again! by Amanda Miller and Joan Michael. Bright colored photographs of children and objects show all the different ways to add up to ten. Michael has manipulated the images of the children, so that they fit inside shoes and socks or climb on building blocks, adding humour and fun to the addition experience.
Learning to tell time is yet another milestone in our numeracy education. Jules Older's Telling Time: How to tell time on digital and analog clocks! is an excellent introduction to the topic. Older defines the concept of time clearly and gives easy to follow explanations on the “how to” part of telling time. The book's design – with simple pictures and lots of white space – helps reinforce the message. Websites listed at the end of the book give more resources for children and parents.