Math PK-2

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Math PK-2 > Strategies > Imaginative Play/Role-play

Imaginative Play/Role-play


Through imaginative play or role-playing, learners focus on the context of the problem and can test out various problem-solving scenarios which supports Cognitive Flexibility. Imaginative play allows learners to bring mathematical thinking to life while building Social Supports and supporting the use of mathematical Vocabulary naturally in discussions.

Apply It to Your Learning Environment

  • Provide time for free exploration and application of mathematical thinking through daily imaginative play opportunities (role-playing centers, dramatic play, world of work stations such as grocery stores, etc.).to support communicating with their peers and developing Social Awareness and Relationship Skills.
  • Imaginative play approaches to retelling a word problem help learners practice their Language Skills to better comprehend the Operations in the problem.
  • As young learners role-play math problems with others, they gain a deeper understanding of various Emotions and practice Self-Regulation and Social Awareness Skills.
  • Provide visuals to support oral instructions during synchronous online learning.
  • Storytelling can support creative thinking and problem solving while learners apply mathematical Vocabulary.
  • Provide instructions in different formats for learners.
  • Include pictures or visual representations of the steps particularly for English Language Learners.

Watch a preschool classroom that supports student learning through dramatic and pretend play. By exploring pretend situations, students learn how to communicate with their peers and develop their Social Awareness and Relationship Skills.

Apply It to Product Development

  • Game-based learning has been found to be very effective for young learners. Games can include elements of role-play and imaginative play to support creative thinking and Cognitive Flexibility.
  • Products can develop playful games around real-life scenarios, allowing learners to explore math in daily life.
  • Ensure any images, avatars, and characters are representative of our diverse learners, are contextually relevant, and minimize potential biases.
  • Audit the product to ensure there is no unintentional stereotyping of roles.

Factors Supported by this Strategy

About this Strategy Content

The research review for this strategy was conducted by the LVP team. Application, examples, and resources were sourced with support from our Practitioner Advisory Board.