National Geographic : 1991 Sep
They also count on building blocks, buttons and whatever else they can think of. That's because in Karen Economopoulos' kindergarten, using different strategies for problem-solving is part ofher "Show and Tell Math Conference" The conferences began one day when four ofKaren's twenty-one kindergartners at Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, Massachusetts were absent. She challenged the children to find ways to determine that day's actual attendance. How many children were there? How many were missing? How do you find out? It wasn't an easy problem. Keeping track of a count, representing it, and using the concept of one-to-one correspondence are challenging tasks for five-year-olds. One child made a tower of 21 blocks, removed four and counted those remaining. Another gave each child a button, then collected and counted them. "Children listened to each other, chal lenged each other, and grew more and more confident as they saw their own solutions backed up by many different strategies for arriving at the same answer,' said Karen. "The conference is a tool for finding out how young children think, and helps me gear subsequent work to the appropriate level' These ongoing conferences also show the kind of innovative thinking that makes State Farm proud to honor Karen Economopoulos with the Good Neighbor Award. We are also delighted to contribute $5000 to Fayerweather Street School in her name. Karen Economopoulos. A good neighbor you can really count on. STATE FARM INSURANCE STATEFARM INSURANCECOMPANIES HomeOffices:Bloomington,Ilinois The Good Neighbor Award was developed in cooperation with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).