With the aid of colorful illustrations (including googly eyes) we discussed what it means to add something to an object. In this case, there were two paper sea creatures.

Underneath each creature was a number. Between each creature was a “plus” sign.

A class discussion was then initiated as a means to relay the meaning of this exciting symbol.

We then added a counting element to this activity. Using googly eyes, we practiced adding them to our marine friends. Using real life items illustrates this complicated concept for young children, and enables them to make connections not allotted by simply using a paper and pencil.

Manipulating colorful materials also provides instant feedback, which enables students to create meaningful connections between a concept and its application to real world situations.

# Sea Creature Counting

I am very excited to talk about our adventures in math! By using googly eyes and paper cut-outs of sea creatures, we had the opportunity to practice our counting and number recognition. For the activity, each participant was given googly eyes and sea creatures with various numbers written on them.

They then placed the correct number of googly eyes on the paper, counting as they did so. After this, we talked about what the various numbers looked like. How “1” has a straight line like a pole, how “2” looks like a seahorse, and how “3” looks like bear ears. By counting, young children gain an understanding of concrete relationships. As they coordinate the counting with the adding of the eyes, your students learn that each object gets one number.

In gaining insight of concrete relationships, they further their comprehension that things can be given many different labels, and still have the same meaning. Preschoolers also need experiences to relay the meaning of symbols. They may look at a number on a piece of paper, but not make the association between that number and an amount. By providing the opportunity to see the number and count actual three dimensional objects, students participate in an effective developmental experience.

With fly swatters and paper lily pads, we practiced counting with this exciting math activity! Each child was given three lily pads with flies drawn on them. Various numbers were affixed to each fly. We initiated this activity with a discussion of the numbers involved, and then clapped the amount of each.  Your budding mathematician was then shown a card with a number on it. They were then directed to hit their “flies” with the amount displayed on the card.  This provided a forum for talking about “more” and “less”, counting to nine, concepts such as adding and subtracting, and more vocabulary associated with the frog! By relating mathematical concepts to things that children are naturally curious about, such as animals, they are more engaged and intrinsically motivated to learn!

With the aid of colorful illustrations, including a story and manipulatives, we reinforced the anatomy of a turkey, and its role in the Thanksgiving feast.

Each child was given the opportunity to include their understanding of what was Thanksgiving was (following cues – allowing them to formulate their own sentences), and asking open-ended questions.

This provided them with a positive environment to reinforce their attempts to talk and speak in complex sentences. We then added a counting element to this activity. Using feathers, baby food jars, and a paper turkey, we practiced adding and subtracting turkey feathers.

Using real life items illustrates this complicated concept for young children, and enables them to make connections not allotted by simply using a paper and pencil. Manipulating colorful materials also provides instant feedback, which forms the cornerstone for more advanced critical thinking.

# Banana Ghosts

There are several ways to practice counting. To integrate this task into our theme, we created ghosts out of bananas and raisins.

We discussed how many eyes the ghost should have and then counted the number on our fingers.

We then acknowledged that we all have only one nose, and that more raisins would be required to create a mouth.

Mastering number facts, such as sequencing and its application to real world experience, are necessary for the continual development of pre-math skills.

# Poker Chips and Patterns

We have been talking about the letter I this week! Using silly songs, props, and a variety of learning activities, we have integrated this letter into our week of the Ichthyosaurus! Using poker chips and the letter I, we combined math and literacy to supplement our awareness of this fascinating vowel. To start, your child was given a color pattern that they were directed to replicate on their letter. They were then instructed to verbally count their items. Teaching patterns and sequencing to young children is an integral component to the concept of emerging mathematics. They facilitate an understanding of one to one correspondence (i.e. matching sets, recognizing groups) and foster one’s ability to count verbally.

# Sea Urchin Math

We are always striving to improve our counting and math skills! Using colored pasta, toothpicks, and Playdoh, we created our very own sea urchins.

We began the lesson with a revisit to the number six. We then practiced tracing the number six with our fingers. Following that, we wrote the number eight. Lastly, we counted as we placed each piece of pasta onto each spiny plate.

Experiences that allow the application of mathematical principles are an integral factor in the development of mathematical concepts.

This activity also fostered their sequencing skills, as many of our budding mathematicians found more pleasure in arranging their pasta pieces by color.