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.

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.

# Nut Sorting

The Wamponoags showed the Pilgrims how to gather nuts during their first winter. Using pictures, and real nuts, we sorted walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts into three piles. Sorting and classifying objects help children begin to notice how items are alike and different, and creates an awareness that is vital for math learning. Learning to distinguish between things feels like a major accomplishment for preschool children, and using real nuts made the activity that much more fun!

# 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.

# Legume Sorting

Young children experience a great sense of accomplishment when they learn how to distinguish between different items. By noting their similarities and differences, they are building a foundation for more complex mathematical thinking. Using picture diagrams, we practiced sorting and counting some of our favorite legumes!

# Egg Matching!

Patterns present themselves to us in several ways; through the repeated images on wallpaper to the lyrics of our favorite songs. Understanding these patterns will influence your little ones’ future mathematical endeavors, because understanding numbers requires an understanding of how things work together. Using plastic eggs and colorful pictures, we practiced our own color and pattern recognition skills!

# Muffin Tin Patterns

Preschoolers are naturally curious, and are constantly noticing the patterns they encounter in their daily lives.

Fostering this skill is an important foundation for the future application of math skills, spatial reasoning, and critical thought.

Using pom poms, a simple diagram, and a muffin tin, your little one reconstructed a variety of patterns, continuing to hone their problem solving and fine motor skills.