Pot O’Gold Math

Counting is easily taken for granted, but it’s the first step on the mathematical journey.

It’s not too surprising therefore that there is a lot of fascinating research into how we learn to count – and there’s more to it than you may think.

This research suggests that toddlers – even as young as twelve months – have a sense of how many there are in a set, up to around three objects.

This comes from their innate sense of number.

For this activity, we practiced counting toy gold pieces, separating them by number.

Students were given three “pots o’gold” with different numerals on them.

They were then directed to place the corresponding number of coins into the pots!

Leprechaun Lacing

Bilateral coordination is the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time.

This includes using both sides at the same time for the same action, such as using a rolling pin.

It also includes using the same action at alternate times, such as walking. Finally, it includes the ability to use different sides of the body for dissimilar movements such as holding the paper down when writing.

Lacing activities of are particular importance because they require a child to pass a string or similar cord through eyelet holes following a specified pattern (such as through one hole and down through the next hole). Developing this skill will have a positive impact on a child’s bilateral integration, as well as improving motor planning for recalling and executing a sequence of events.

For this activity, we used our fine motor skills to weave a shoe lace through a leprechaun! Using their fingers, students practiced going all around the leprechaun!

Leprechaun Slime

From birth to early childhood, children use their five senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them.

It’s an important part of early childhood development, and providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through sensory play is crucial to brain development.

For this activity, students manipulated three different materials to create the perfect leprechaun “slime”.

Students enjoyed the different consistencies that each material provided and loved placing objects in their “goo”

S is for Shamrock!

Phonological awareness is a cognitive skill for the sound structures of language.

For young learners, phonological awareness allows them to attend to, discriminate, remember, and manipulate the different sounds and shapes that make up any language.

To enhance our phonological awareness, we are constantly partaking in projects where we construct words out of manipulatives, sing songs about the letter of the week, and trace letters in a variety of materials.

For this activity, students learned about all of the letters that make up the word SHAMROCK!

Using letter manipulatives, students matched each letter to its corresponding letter on a word mat.

Shamrock Math

Children use math all day long!

During each activity, from counting the stairs they climb, to sorting blocks and stating, “there are more red ones,” to separating the carnivores from the herbivores (for the dinosaurs’ own safety, of course!), children are using.

Knowing the math skills your preschoolers are developing and should be developing will help you observe what they are learning at school so that you can be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

There are a total of sixteen math concepts that we try to implement across our curriculum.

These include observation, problem solving, language, one-to-one correspondence, number sense, shapes, spatial sense, sets and classifying, ordering/seriation, comparing, patterning, counting, measurement, parts and wholes, numbers and symbols, and graphing.

For this activity, we incorporate language, one-to-one correspondence, and number sense into this fun shamrock project! Students counted items, classified them according to quantity, and then match that quantity with a numeral.

Shamrock Hop

Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking, running, and sitting upright.

It also includes eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking).

As part of our shamrock theme, we decided to practice our own gross motor skills by jumping during this fun shamrock game!

Using the large muscles in their legs, students hopped from one chalk-made shamrock to the next!

Fizzy Shamrocks

When baking soda is mixed with vinegar, something new is formed.

The mixture quickly foams up with carbon dioxide gas. If enough vinegar is used, all of the baking soda can be made to react and disappear into the vinegar solution.

This reaction occurs because sodium bicarbonate and acetic acid reacts to carbon dioxide, water, and sodium acetate.

To tie this in with our shamrock theme, we created our very own fizzy shamrocks!

Using a play dough mat, eye droppers, vinegar, and baking soda, students observed what happens when different ingredients are combined.

The result was spectacular!

Counting Flags

The basic foundation of math is understanding numbers and quantities.

One of the best ways to develop these understandings, or number sense, is through handling objects and counting them. We can listen to preschoolers recite numbers in order, but we want them to apply that to counting objects and understand that those numbers represent quantities of items.

Counting games and activities encourage preschoolers to “play” with numbers and quantities and build math skills and number sense in natural ways.

It is for this reason that we played this fun counting game with our own objects!

To incorporate this game into our Ireland theme, the objects we used were Irish flags!

Students enjoyed counting different quantities, placing each quantity under the correct numeral.

Irish Flag Addition

Students learn addition and subtraction through a variety of hands-on activities. What we know about numeracy development is that students go through stages. As you see in other subjects, not every student experiences each of these stages in a linear way.

This is a generalization of the stages you might see when teaching addition and subtraction: This is the generalization of the stages you might see when teaching addition and subtraction: Direct modeling or counting (also called concrete): Students solve problems by having the objects in front of them to manipulate.

Counting more efficiently: Students solve problems by drawing pictures, making marks on the page, or perhaps counting on their fingers. Working with the numbers (also called abstract): Students solve the problems by working with numeral relationships. EXAMPLE: 5+8 could be decomposed to 5+5 = 10 and then 3 more which is 13.

At this stage, we would want students to have multiple problem-solving strategies as they take numbers apart and put them back together. For this activity, we decided to institute direct modeling in teaching our four and five year old students addition. Using magnetic numbers and Irish flags, students placed numerals onto a tray.

They then selected the corresponding amount of Irish flags. Upon completing the equation, students counted all of the flags, and then wrote the correct total.

Ireland Sensory Bin

Ireland is an island in Northwestern Europe in the north Atlantic Ocean.

The island lies on the European continental shelf, part of the Eurasian plate.

The island’s main geographical features include low central plains surrounded by coastal mountains.

To recreate these geographical features, we decided to create our very own sensory bins!

Sensory play is an integral part of early learning, because it allows the whole child to participate in his own learning, using all of his senses while doing it!