Reviewed by Kent Haines
You probably don’t need a rant from me about the state of our country or our world. After all, you signed up to receive lighthearted math game recommendations.
So I’ll be brief: I fully and wholeheartedly support the protesters, their political goals, and their vision for our country. And if you want to hear more on that topic, feel free to email me since it’s basically all I want to talk about these days.
But let’s say you’re still in the market for enriching math tools for the home, but you also want your money to go towards supporting fantastic black educators and black-owned businesses.
Well I’ve got the perfect opportunity for you! It’s a picture book called Sometimes We Do.
What is Sometimes We Do?
Sometimes We Do is a picture book written by Omowale Moses, a math educator and local advocate in the Boston area. I met Omo at a conference back in November, where all attendees were given a copy of the book. I was so delighted to see how great this book is.
Sometimes We Do isn’t a didactic set of tasks, instructing you to count the seven carrots on this page. Instead, Omo has managed to capture the casual creativity that comes from having math conversations with your kids.
The main character, Johari, describes his morning routine in the house, sharing all the snatches of conversation that he has with his dad. They talk about size, shape, number and measurement along the way. Sometimes the chats are sparked by real moments of cooking or building, while other math ideas spring from the young Johari’s fertile imagination.
To be totally honest, Johari describes his day the way that I hope my kids do — he doesn’t think of his conversations with his dad as Math Talk, as an academic departure from his normal activities. Instead, math is just part of the way that he communicates with his dad. It’s infused in his everyday routines and in his flights of fancy.
I have such a hard time describing to parents what good math talk looks like in practice. Instead of describing it myself, I’m going to start giving parents a copy of this book.
Sometimes We Do by Omowale Moses
Published by Tumblehome Learning on 2019-09
Genres: African American, Education, Read Alouds
Reading Level: Early Childhood, Grade K
Buy at Powell's Books
Publisher's Synopsis: Johari loves Daddy days, when he and his father make pancakes and play with trains. Together Johari and his father chat about size, number, amount, recipes, and family chores. Playful illustrations allow a glimpse of Johari's fantasy world and invite further discussion of the book's early math concepts.