Young children are constantly assessing the patterns in their worlds.
From how items fit together, to the similarities between objects in their environments, their awareness of logic and order compose a significant part of their play. To cultivate this, we used a variety of colored buttons to create sequences!
Sequencing hosts an array of developmental benefits; it enables your little one to see how items are alike and different; it helps visual acuity; AND, it fosters critical thinking skills. This activity consisted of students matching buttons to a diagram. Each diagram contained a missing item, and it was up to the student to determine what item it was. Through some trial and error, we enjoyed manipulating a variety of colorful buttons, laughing and learning in the process!
With color paper, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners, we practiced counting with this exciting math activity!
This activity consisted of each child constructing a caterpillar. To begin with, each child was given eight abdominal segments with numbers drawn on them. These numbers were to be attached to the “head” and counted, 1-6. We initiated this activity with a discussion of the numbers involved, and then clapped the amount of each.
Following, your budding mathematicians were shown a card with a number on it. They were then directed to place the correct segment to the head. This provided a forum for talking about “more” and “less”, counting to nine, concepts such as adding and subtracting, and more vocabulary associated with numbers!
By relating mathematical concepts to things that children are naturally curious about, (such as bugs) young students are more engaged and intrinsically motivated to learn! It is for this reason why we are always playing with bugs!
Using geometric shapes, and colorful illustrations, we practiced sorting shapes!
We began the activity with a discussion of what the different shapes we were working with looked like. We then attempted to draw some of our own.
Next, we talked about their colors. We came up with light green orange, purple, and red. We then attempted to sort them!
Children can learn through play and everyday life experiences. For the preschooler, learning common shapes by making a game out of making and finding shapes can reinforce important academic skills. These skills enable your little one to think critically. Most importantly, they have fun while they are learning!
Understanding the one-to-one correspondence of object to object is necessary before young children can carry out meaningful counting and higher calculations.
Children can find many opportunities in their daily life to experience one-to-one correspondence. They can place one sock inside one shoe or one shoe on one foot; they can get one napkin or snack for each member of the family or class; they can place one lid on each of several containers; they can place pieces in one-piece puzzles.
Once children understand these relationships, they can link one number with one object and then count with understanding. When students are ready to develop the skill of counting, they can benefit from learning several counting strategies to increase their accuracy and efficiency. Students sometimes develop one or more such strategies on their own, but it is to their benefit to provide training in this area.
As with any concepts or skills, it is important to start working with real objects and manipulatives and to continue providing these as learning aids. For this particular activity, we placed a predetermined number of petals on three different daisies. We practiced adding and subtracting the various petals, noticing the changes in quantity.
Measurement allows us to analyze the objects in our world.
We are constantly doing it.
Before they are even aware of this new vocabulary, young children are constantly measuring items.
Fostering an awareness of measurement can not only help them master everyday tasks, but nourish their growing ability to think critically.
For this particular activity, we discussed the difference between height and width.
We then measured the length of a three different toys with Unifix cubes.
“Bingo!” Who doesn’t like the thrill of finding the last item on your list, jumping out of your chair, and shouting you won?
Bingo is an incredibly fun game to play in group, is very easy to play, and can help rehearse anything from language vocabulary to math and historical facts.
Everyone can play the game together, regardless of level. And best of all, everyone wins! For this activity, we played Bingo using the numbers 1-10.
The students loved covering their numbers and shouting as they filled up their boards!
With the help of Unifix cubes and a board of colorful illustrations, we created varying sets of sequences, both counting and creating patterns to enhance cognitive and mathematical skills.
The children delighted in the variety of sequences, and loved counting and predicting what the next block was on the board.
In an attempt to foster their students’ academic development, many well meaning educators may be tempted to provide flash cards as an initial learning tool.
This is not the best method for teaching young children math skills with understanding.
Many four-year-olds may be able to identify a 4, but they don’t understand what 4 means.
It’s important to understand the difference between conceptual learning and skill development.
Instead of flashcards, children can count things that are familiar to them. Counting socks, toy cars, or other toys will maintain their attention because these items have meaning to them. For this activity, we practiced counting numbers 9-14.
Students were given plastic pipes with numbers affixed to them. They were then directed to connect them together, starting with 9 and ending with 14. This helped them not only understand what numbers look like, but their function.
Early math is not about the rote learning of discrete facts like how much 5 + 7 equals. Rather, it’s about children actively making sense of the world around them. Unlike drills or worksheets with one correct answer, open-ended, playful exploration encourages children to solve problems in real situations.
Because the situations are meaningful, children can gain a deeper understanding of number, quantity, size, patterning, and data management.
For example, it is easier to understand what six means when applied to a real-life task such as finding six beads to string on a necklace or placing one cracker on each of six plates.
It is for this reason that we used cups and numbers to practice our counting, adding, and subtracting. To fit this into our numbers theme, we used white cups,numbered 9-14, and stacked them on top of one another. We have been talking a lot about these numbers, and have been creating inventive ways to learn about them!
They started by stacking the cups in no particular order. Once they mastered this task, they stacked them (while counting out loud) placing the number nine on the bottom and the number fourteen on the top. Next, they practiced adding and subtracting different cups and counting them. Everyone enjoyed seeing their structures come to life, and laughed as they stacked and then re-stacked their cups.
Numbers present themselves to us in several ways; through the repeated images on license plate numbers, to the recipes of our favorite foods.
Understanding these numbers will influence your little ones’ future mathematical endeavors, because understanding numbers requires an understanding of how they work together.
Using Unifix cubes and a colorful diagram, we practiced our own sorting and numeral recognition skills! Students counted, and then placed the correct amount of Unifix cubes onto predetermined numbers. Once finished, they checked their answers by counting their cubes again!