To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET INTRODUCTION WHAT IS MATHEMATIZING? My earliest recollection of mathematizing—although I didn’t realize what was happening at the time—occurred at a grocery store when I was five. My mother engaged me in a fun learning experience while shopping for fruit. “I wonder how many bananas we will need for the week?” she asked me. “Should we buy the big cantaloupe or the small one? Which fruit do you think is heavier, the cantaloupe or the orange? Why do you think the cantaloupe is heavier?” Using words like “how many,” “big,” “small,” and “heavier” as we shopped was my mother’s way of introducing mathematizing into my young life. The continual math play we engaged in helped me develop the ability to see and think about math (mathematize) as part of my everyday experiences. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, to math- ematize is “to reduce to mathematical form.” In their National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics News Bulletin article, Jacqueline Leonard and Nora Ramirez define mathematizing as “the ability to identify the relationships and quantities that exist in specific contexts” (Leonard and Ramirez 2009, 1). As an early childhood educator, I define mathematizing as “the process of understanding math within the contexts of children’s daily lives.” The intention with my definition of mathematizing is to direct attention to the words “process,” “understanding,” and “context,” which are key elements of respectful early childhood curriculum practices. This process can be cognitive or linguistic or both. The grocery store shopping experience I had with my mother is a good example of how a common situation can be reduced to pure mathematical form, in order to teach critical math concepts within a child’s context. Teach- ers can also develop young children’s mathematical thinking and provide meaningful math experiences by establishing micro-math cultures in their classrooms. A micro-math culture is a group of classrooms or individuals that share common thoughts, values, and behaviors. Micro-math cultures can 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL