# Studying Math + Leaves

To continue our leaf study we conducted a math lab with leaves that we found outside on the playground. We drew ten boxes outside with sidewalk chalk. We then numbered each box from one to ten and asked the students to count the boxes. We asked the children to choose a number and then encouraged them to find and place that number of leaves in their square.

The children had a blast running around and collecting all the different leaves. After collecting those leaves they brought what they had to the square. At first the children just piled all of the leaves they found on top of their squares. Those students were asked; “If we count these leaves will the amount match the number in the square?” The students counted the leaves and told us if that number matched with most of them replying, “No”. Once the students realized that the numbers didn’t match, they started again and paid close attention to the amount they counted out.

Math is among the many topics preschoolers will begin to learn. Providing the children with activities that relate to the subject of math in different scenarios offers several intellectual benefits for everyday life. Introducing children to math at a young age strengthens background knowledge of skills such as fine motor skills, ability to inquire, experiment, and adapt new ideas based on new findings. This provocation was an intellectual learning experience because it instilled skills such as predicting, examining, while incorporating trial and error into their exploration of counting numbers with leaves.

When the children realized the first time that the amount of leaves they placed on their square didn’t match, instead of giving up they tried again and through trial and error realized what they had to look for. According to Deborah J. Stewart, M.ED. “play offers young children the opportunity to put into action the ideas and processes being presented so that concepts and ideas make sense and the processes can be mastered…” In doing so this intellectual learning experience is long-term and ever changing, in the future we will be build onto this concept even further!

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”

### –Lloyd Alexander

References and further reading:

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