math · topic

Topic Tuesday More Candy… and sorting

Let’s start by watching this segment from Unwrapped on How M&M’s are made. I always like sharing this type of information with children as they often have no concept of how the items are created. This episode give a bit of the backstory as well as a tour of the facility where the candy is produced!

Now lets read another M&M book… yes, another fun math book using M&Ms! This one is called More M&M Math by Barbara Barbieri McGrath. In this book you will sort and then graph candy… so guess what we are going to do today!?! Sort and graph!

You can check out a post I shared in April for how to sort and graph M&M candy.

Instead, I sorted the collection of odd Lego pieces I have in my kitchen. Don’t you have an odd Lego collection somewhere? No? Well sort any odd collection you have. Maybe you can then convince your child to put them away when they are done sorting?

Help your child create a graph grid to fill in with the materials you are choosing to graph. I was lazy and didn’t get out a ruler, but doing it with straight lines helps a bit. Now sort! Talk about what you see. Which is the least? Which is the most? Are any the same? How many more gray than red? How many fewer gold than clear?

STEAM · teaching thoughts

Lego Name Fun

Children love doing activities with their names. Check out other name activities (name writing, name flower pot, and name art for a few). When you work with your child on his/her name, I strongly encouraging you to have your child write his/her name with the first letter as a capital and the rest lowercase. This will be one of the first things your child’s kindergarten teacher will work on, so why not teach him/her that way to begin with?

Today we will have some Lego fun, who doesn’t love Lego blocks? Well, we don’t like to step on them, but they are a fun learning and building toy.

I decided to play with my blog name for a change! I also made my sons’ names too (oops! I made Blake’s “a” backwards… see even teachers make mistakes).

Here is what I want you to do…. “Let’s have some fun with Lego blocks today” Now… let your child do whatever he/she wants to do first. Trust me, if you let the children play with the manipulative before giving him/her a direction it will work out a lot better.

“I have a challenge for you! Can you build your name out of Lego?” That’s it! Do not suggest more, do not model, do not tell your child how to do it.

If your child is not confident in writing his/her own name, then write the name on a sheet of paper or tape it on the surface they are building on, and again… say nothing else.

You will probably be surprised at their solution to this problem. Give him/her time to problem solve BEFORE you jump in and help. If the struggle is real, then sit down and say… hmm what if I make my name like this? And start working on your own name, or a sibling/pet name. Do not work on your child’s name… that is you doing the work/problem solving not your child.

Some letters are going to be a LOT easier than others. Trust me I struggled on Blake’s capital B!

You might notice that I used three different methods to build the letters. In the “My Day,” I stood the Lego up the way you stand up dominoes. In the “In Pre-K” I just laid the Lego flat on the table. For the boys’ names, I stacked them up. Colby’s name could stand, but I didn’t finish the process of linking the blocks for Blake’s name.

These are NOT the only ways this can be done. Please, please, please… let your child explore with the concept. There is no right or wrong way. This is how STEAM projects work in early childhood… they are engineering, building, constructing and problem solving… they need to do this!! It should be fun, they are learning through play. (: