KinderGals: Activities to Develop Early Math Understanding

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Activities to Develop Early Math Understanding

Developing Early Math Concepts doesn't have to happen on a worksheet! Math concepts can be taught through play, songs, and art! This blog post shares some ideas on using dendrite producing activities to teach early math concepts.
Graphing is a great tool to help children organize data for analysis. While graphing might not be a "standard" by itself, graphs are used to make sense of number. For this fun back to school graph, the kids made a fun face using wiggly eyes and pompoms. They used yarn to make long or short hair to match the length of their own hair.  In a later activity, I gave each child their face. One by one, they added their face to the graph. As each child added their face, we talked about how our data was changing.  (I saved these faces to add to their end of the year memory book along with their first day of school picture!)
Another great "first" math concept is sorting. Sorting is essential in many number standards. The kids need to be able to sort for counting, comparing, adding..... For this fun activity, I used a collection of cute kids clip art and a sorting mat. We talked about ways to sort--boys and girls, long hair and short hair, pig tails and no pig tails..... The real challenge is in coming up with the sort categories. Encourage children to generate sorts while you model how you select categories.  Is it more important to sort a few kids many ways, or to sort many kids a few ways? No need to provide the kids with large number of clip art kids....the power is in how many different sorts they can generate.  For extra fun, use actual photographs of the kids in your room! Be sure and scroll all the way to the bottom. I have add a fun, free animal sorting activity for you to use with your kids!
How long have you been teaching kindergarten? Do you remember when we didn't give them pencils until after Christmas? Or as long as they knew the names of the letters they were ready for first grade?  Those days are gone!  Kindergarten curriculum has become more rigorous and is standards based. But, does that mean that we have to throw out all of the things that are based on appropriate practices? Does that mean we can't sing, or paint, or dance?  Does that mean that we need to get kids in desks and start pushing worksheets disguised as printables or no prep activities?   We can still dance and sing and all of the other fun parts of kindergarten, because that is how kids learn best!!!! How do we do it? We need to look at our songs and activities and be sure that the standard is clear and evident! "Five Little Goldfish" is a perfect example! (sang to the tune of Five Little Speckled Frogs) What is the math standard? Is it counting, is it adding more more, is it addition, is it number combinations for 5? You decide! Then, as you sing the song, simply add in the words to link it to the math standard! Easy Peasy!
We always chart our songs on poster board using sentence strips. Putting them in a pocket chart always ended up in lost pieces!  The fish and the numerals are attached with Velco so that they can be manipulated.  Now we need to decide on our language arts standard. Is it print moves left to right and top to bottom, is it there are spaces between words, is it author's craft, is it some word we can read really quickly (sight words)? Once you determine which ONE concept you are going to teach, use your interactive chart as a shared reading while you explore the wonderful world of print!
I'm at Frog Street Splash again today! These are the items I used to plan the session ABC's and 123's.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Kim & Megan
A great post and I agree, best way to teach because it makes it meaningful, age appropriate and fun.
It would be inspiring to teach alongside you.
Have a great week.
Julie :)
Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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