math · teaching thoughts · topic

Math Monday

This week I am going to write a series for you the parents! I’m giving you my two cents on many learning topics. This is my opinion as a educator as well as a parent. So much of the impact we have on our children’s learning has to do more with how we think than what we do!

Math is NOT scary! read it again Math is NOT scary!

Sadly we still live in a world were people are afraid of math. Math is a set of steps. Math is black and white… right or wrong… for the most part. But there is more than one way to solve a problem. There is more than one way to see how to get to the end result.

A large issue with adults and math is they were forced to memorize facts. You learned that 2+2=4 and that 5*8=40, but you didn’t learn the why. You just learned the fact. When you start to think math, not just memorize it… you will find that it makes more sense.

In schools, we use a lot of manipulatives and manipulation of visuals to help see math. New math is mental math on paper…. or with manipulatives. Take for instance the concept of “Make a 10”. This is teaching children to see the addition fact 6+7 and break it down to 7+3+3… why? Why can’t they just memorize that 6+7 =13? Make a ten is an easy mental math step… I know that 7+3 is 10 and then 10+3 is 13. Seems like more steps, but then do it in your head… hey wait. If those numbers were 17+16 what then? 10+10+7+3+3. This is THINKING math.

I could go on and give more examples, but I won’t.

My thought for you today is play with math. Provide white boards and have your child illustrate problems. Provide counters (Lego, cereal, goldfish, crayons,… anything). Make learning of math fun. Help your child to think math… not memorize it!

Remember this is just my two cents.

math · story

M&M math

This week is all about math… AND CANDY!

Today we are going to listen to two M & M math books. The first book’s math skills are a lot simpler than the second book.

The M&Ms Counting Book by Barbara Barieri McGrath… this book uses a bag of M&Ms to count, pattern and makes shapes

The M&Ms Addition Book by Barbara Barieri McGrath… this book uses a bag of M&Ms to practice addition.

Ok… so let’s do some math with M&Ms (or Skittles, or Lego blocks, or… whatever colored items you have on hand!)

Today we will work on patterns. A pattern is something that repeats itself. When we start patterns we begin with simple AB patterns 1 green, 1 brown, 1 green, 1 brown. Then move on from there. ABB 1 orange, 2 blue, 1 orange, 2 blue or AAB 2 blue, 1 orange, 2 blue, 1 orange. We then typically add in a third color 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue, 1 red, 1 green 1 blue etc.

First have your child recognize the pattern. Talk about the pattern put words to what you see. Next have them copy the pattern, make it with their own set of materials. Then they can extend your pattern… can you add on to my pattern? What comes next? Finally have the child make their own version of that pattern. Can you make an AB pattern with your own color, material, whatever change in variable.

Notice that I showed the pattern broken into chunks. This helps your child see the repeat of the pattern. Once children get good at creating their own and understanding the concept of patterns, they can make more and more complex patterns.

art · math · STEAM · teachers pay teacher

Monster Math!

This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!

Shape Monster created by Adam Ray Daniels’ Cartoons for my TPT store kits

So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!

I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.

Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.

Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!

Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!

Show preview image 3

Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.

Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)

game · math · topic

Pumpkin Bump Game

This week we will be looking at pumpkins! Who doesn’t like to learn about pumpkins? Here is a fun pumpkin story to listen to: Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. What would you do if you had too many pumpkins? Well listen to what Rebecca Estelle does with all the pumpkins she finds!

Today you are getting two stories… How Many Seeds in Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara. The children in Mr. Tiffin’s class learn about estimating, sizes, counting and more by counting the seeds in three different sized pumpkins.

Time for some pumpkin math! I encourage you to do some math/investigations with real pumpkins at home.

  • How much does your pumpkin weight? How much does it weigh after you take out the seeds and the pulp? After you carved it?
  • How many lines are on your pumpkin?
  • How tall is it?
  • What is the circumference of your pumpkin?
  • How many seeds are inside?
  • Will it sink or float? Does it sink or float after you took out the seeds and pulp?

Now lets play a game!

Bump is a fun dice game to play with kids. I will teach you how to play and then share how to easily alter the game to work on different skills.

I will show you the simplest version first. Create a gameboard, I drew pumpkins (sad looking pumpkins I admit!) for mine. On the gameboard write the numbers 1-6 since we will only use one die for this version. Each player needs 10 counters, transparent counters work best, but aren’t necessary.

Directions:

  • roll the die
  • put your marker on that number
  • next player rolls and they put their piece on that number
  • if you roll a number that the other player is covering, you can bump them off that space
  • if you roll a number that you are already covering you can double cover and lock the space.
  • First person to use all 10 counters wins!

Easy and Fun!

Variations on the game:

use two dice and add them together

use one die and have the children add one (I would write _____ +1= on the board and have the children put the die in the blank space to remember to add one

double roll one die but cover it’s double (roll 2 but cover 4, roll 3 but cover 6)

use three dice

older kids you can use the dice to multiply or practice place value… so many options!!

math · story · teachers pay teacher · topic

Count the Room

This week we will discuss scarecrows! To start off the week, here is a favorite story: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro. Make sure you check out the live stream I did on Facebook on Friday. Click on the button below hear hear me read the story The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything!

Ok… onto math! This week lets work on a number sense, counting and number recognition activity…. count the room. Count the room can be done a few different ways…

The first way is to have cards around the room that show quantities of object, 1 scarecrow, 2 pumpkins, 3 hay bales etc. Then your child will find the cards around the room, count the quantity of items and record the number to practice numeral writing.

The second way is to have number cards around the room, then have your child fill in a ten frame(s) to show how many that number represents.

Suggested items to draw/print out to make the cards: scarecrow, pumpkin, leaf, apple, hay bale, candy corn, crow, squirrel, pinecone, sunflower, or any other fall items. Or you could do things with a scarecrow: shirt, pants, patches, hat, pole, straw, leaves, shoes, crows etc… you pick!

While it might seem that these are the same they are actually working on different skills. The first works on conservation of number, counting, and writing numerals. The second works on number recognition and number sense (how many a number means). These are both important and often over looked math skills! So… have fun with your kiddo doing this activity. I would suggest give him/her a clipboard or whiteboard to take around, it adds to the enjoyment level.

Count the Room-- Fall items

If you are looking for a quick way to set this up and have recording sheets, consider purchasing my Count the Room Fall Items kit at Teachers Pay Teachers. This kit costs $1.50 and contains number cards for both sets of activities as well as 3 different recording sheets!

math · teaching thoughts

Five!

This week we will be exploring our five senses! So, I decide to focus on the number five for Math Monday. Share this song with your kiddo The Number 5 song by BubblePopBox

2 sets of 5

Have your child collect five objects. Ok, now go get five different objects. Let’s compare the sets. Many children will not recognize that the two sets have the same number of objects if the items are of different sizes. This is called conservation of number. The understanding that numbers are constant and equal the number of objects in a set. Many times when children are presented with 5 markers and 5 Cheerios they perceive that the set of markers is greater because it takes up more space.

To help your child develop conservation of number AND work on one-to-one correspondence, match up the objects. In my case, I set the markers in a line and then put a Cheerio at the end of each marker. Now each marker has a Cheerio and each Cheerio has a marker, they match one to one! Five markers is the same quantity as five Cheerios.

Practice writing the numerals 1-5 and match one set of objects with the numerals, one more practice and connection between the number, number word and numeral!

If your child is still struggling with this concept… don’t worry it takes practice and time. So get two more sets of 5, or if your child is struggling to count out five objects correctly drop down to 3 and build up from there. These skills that we as adults take for granted, are skills that need to be fostered in young children.

If your child is strong in these skill… here’s another five skill to work on, tally counting! Here is another song for you The Tally Mark Song. Practice correctly drawing tallys. Trust me… your child will want to draw five straight lines down and still cross it out and see it as five. It takes practice. 1, 2, 3, 4, shut the door with 5 is how I teach my students to remember that 5 is the slanted line.

Hope you and your child have fun with the number 5!

math · STEAM

Monday Math- backyard measurement

When we teach measurement in early childhood education we use both standard and non-standard measurements. This means we use rulers, yard sticks, tape measures as well as linking cubes, paper squares and other non-standard tools.

The key to using non-standard measurements is to use things that are all the same size. The key points we work on are: starting and ending at the edges of the item, counting all the whole units and estimating the partial units (we typically stick with half and whole). When using non-standard units making sure there are no gaps between the items used to measure.

Here are a few on-line items to try out before jumping into the measurement fun. https://jr.brainpop.com/math/measurement/nonstandardmeasurement/

https://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/games/bridgebuilder.html

Choose one form of measurement to try out today. You can do the same exact items another day with a different measurement tool. Now go outside and measure!

Some things to measure are: rocks, front steps, plant heights, items you draw with chalk, foot prints, and anything else that stays still long enough to measure!

When working on measurement in early childhood we introduce the terms length/long, width/wide, height/tall, perimeter, inch, and units. These terms help them understand what they are measuring, but are not expected to be mastered at this time.

Under each pictures I wrote how I would state the measurement of the object.

the stick is about 3 crayons long
the rock is about 4 Lego blocks wide at the widest point
each side of the capstone square is about 4 and a half Lego blocks long
the bench is about 4 markers tall
the bench is about 8 and a half makers long
the grill is about 20 inches wide

game · math

Math Monday- Numbers and Bubbles

I did not get around to posting my topic post yesterday. Oops.. oh well I’ll call it a Mother’s day pass.

This week I have provided my students activities that deal with bubbles. Who doesn’t love bubbles? I will share links to stories and science videos tomorrow during topic Tuesday.

Here are two fun games to play with numbers and bubbles.

Count the bubbles… yep that’s it. Children at this age love an excuse to count. So blow bubbles and have them count the bubbles as they pop them. Or work on blowing bubbles and have them count the number of bubbles they can blow. Want to make it a challenge? Set a timer and each person blows bubbles for 2 minutes or so. See who can count more in that time frame.

Bump!

bump

This is a fun game that can be adapted in so many ways.

  • game board, this can be done on a piece of paper, or even on your sidewalk with chalk!
  • 2 dice
  • counters/markers (outside you can use rocks, inside anything you can put on top, clear or little are better)

Roll the dice. Add them together. Find the number on the board and cover that number. Now it is the next players turn. He/she rolls. They also cover a number, but if they roll the same number they can choose to put their piece on an uncovered number or bump their opponent off the number. (if player A rolled a 5 and player B has a piece on a 5, player A can put their piece on that 5 and take player B’s piece off the board). If you do not want to get bumped, you can double stack your piece (by rolling the same number twice). The first person to cover 5 numbers wins. (adaptation, cover the whole board and then the person with the most covers wins)

pop the bubbles

One last fun thing to do… ok, yes I said 2, but you get a bonus this time. If you have play dough, then this is a fun game for your child.

Pop the bubbles

Have your child write the numbers 1-12 or 0-10 or whatever combination of numbers you want to work on today. Give your child play dough and have him/her make play dough bubbles to match the number. Now go back and pop (squish) the bubbles to check your counting. Another skill you could practice is counting down. Have your child count up as they make the “bubbles” and then count backwards while “popping” them.

game · math

Monday Math- Frog jump addition

There are many different concepts that are taught in the early years to help set children up to master addition. We teach addition concepts without using the words addition, adding or even plus. Children at this age understand the concept of putting together. They understand AND. They do not need to, but often do, master addition facts and enjoy these concepts.

Here are a few games that you can play to work on early addition skills.

frog jumps

Frog jump on a number line-

materials: ruler/yard stick, die (dice), and a frog

Have your frog start off the end of your ruler. Roll the die and have your frog jump up that many spaces. 0 And 3 more puts your frog on 3. Roll again 3 and 4 more jumps lands your frog on 7. (this is the concept of adding on a number line).

So, here is the big thing I want you to work on with this skill…. the most important skill at this age, have your child count on from their start point. Children at this stage of math development struggle with counting if the do not start at 1 each time. They need to work at a skill called counting on. So with the second example, they would say 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. If they are struggling to count jumps and count at the same time, put a piece of paper or other writing device (white board would be great as it can be used over and over) under the ruler. Draw out the jumps, but don’t move the frog. Now, have your child count on as he/she moves the frog forward.

frogs and flies

Frog and Flies

Materials- paper, marker, something to be frogs and flies, 2 dice (two different colors would work best)

Draw a 2 x 6 grid on a sheet of paper.

Have your child roll the dice. Once die will represent frogs and the other one flies.

Have your child add the frogs and flies to the grid based on the number they roll. 2 frogs and 4 flies makes 6. You can easily flip this and compare to see more and less. I have 2 frogs and 4 flies, so I have 2 more flies than frogs.

This game works on a few skills. First it works on one-to-one correspondence. Putting one frog/fly for each number on the dice, then putting them into one box at a time…. AND comparing based on the columns are all levels of one-to-one correspondence.

Remember these are introductory skills and are not expected to be mastered, but played with and experienced

game · math · STEAM · topic

Monday Math– game boards

Games are a great way to work on many different learning skills with children. I love when I can get a lot of learning in and they don’t see it as learning, just as having fun. Today I created a simple game board. I made it in the shape of a snail since we are learning about pond ecosystems this week and the shape of a snail lends itself easily into a game board shape.

game board

I find that children who do not play games at home struggle to count on a game board. They want to count the space they are on as 1 and then the space in front of them as two. If you did this, then every time you roll a 1 you go no where. When I teach children to count on a game board, we start with 0. Zero is the spot you are standing on and 1 is the spot in front of you. This does two things… it gets you to understand how to count on a game board, AND it reinforces counting from zero instead of one.

Here are a few simple ways to use the board to practice math skills.

Simple Version

Start at the snails head. Roll a die on your turn and then move forward that many spaces. The first person to get to the inside of the shell, the finish spot, wins. As we say in class… easy peasy! This skill works on counting forward 0-6, recognizing the common dice configuration of the numbers 1-6, taking turns and playing a game.

Skill based

count and move pieces

Create cards that your child can use to practice a skill. I created counting cards with items you would find in a pond ecosystem. The child would draw a card and count the number of items on the card. If he/she gets it correct they then move forward that many spaces. This allows you to practice counting items beyond 6, work on varied configurations of counted objects and much more. If you want to work on numbers higher than 10 you could have the child count the number of items on the card and then if they get it correct roll the die and move according to that so you don’t move through the game too quickly.

This same game board can be used for any number of skills. Practice letter recognition, matching shapes, and any skill you want. Create game pieces that show the skill you wish to work on and then move around the board as you get the answers correct. You can even do it with various level children by creating different skill cards for each child. So a 3 year old might work on recognizing shapes and colors, a 5 year old might work on counting items from 6-12 and a 7 year old might work on addition facts. This way they are all working on skills they need to practice, can play the same game and have an equal chance of getting the answers correct.