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Letter of the Day– Dd

D is for Dots! I chose this topic for two reasons. One I had a few good stories to share that will get you and your child talking AND being creative. Two, this leads itself to math in so many ways. If you follow my blog on a regular basis you know the importance of dots and math skills. Children who develop a strong understanding of subitizing, the ability to perceive at a glance the number of items in a group, are able to utilize this skill in learning addition, subtraction and later math skills. The most common configurations are found on dice and dominoes… dots!

Jack Hartmann’s Dd song

Jack Hartmann’s subitize songs Subitizing up to 5 and Subitizing up to 10— these are more of an interactive game than a song as he shows sets and has the children yell out the answer, then the correct number is shown.

Printing Dd

Capital D– start at the top and go straight downnnn, jump back up to the top and curve right and down the bottom. (often times children make the curve too flat or curve in before they get to the bottom)

lowercase d– make a “c”, go upppppp and then straight back downnnn on the same line (this helps make that little tail that we think of when you see a lowercase d)

Today’s activities: Dots!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Dot by Patricia Intriago (I like this version too. They made the book active, which is cool, other than there are no words to see.

“The Dot” is about Vashti who believes that she can’t not draw. Her art teacher shows her differently by framing her “dot” just one dot. This inspires Vashti to show that she can do better than that, she can make better dots. Encourage your little artist to create his/her own dot pictures. These can be done in any medium (chalk, crayon, rocks, markers, watercolors, whatever). Then challenge him/her to try a different way. Each way should look and feel different, but they will all represent a dot or dots. Each time have your child explain their dot picture and then help him/her label it.

“Dot” takes the concept of a dot and changes it to show opposites. So, lets play a game with opposites. Say or show your child one part of the opposite and see if he/she can determine the other. I say hot, you say cold. I go in, you go out. Learning about opposites is the first step in learning to compare and contrast. What makes things the same and different… in the case of opposites, different.

Teach your child to play dominoes. While children love to set up and knock down domino trains, which is a great fine motor, motor planning and engineering activity, learning to play the actual game of dominoes is a great number sense activity.

Number matching– provide your child with sets of dominoes that add up to a few numbers. I drew out sets of 5 and 6, but you can choose to do more. Have your child count all of the dots and determine where to sort the domino. You can continue and test out additional sets or introduce addition in the sense of 1 and 4 more makes 5, 2 and 4 more makes 6. (if you do not have dominoes, you can make them out of paper for this activity)

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

Monday Math- Roll and color/cover

This week we will be working on things to do with the weather. So for today’s math activity I decided to create a roll and cover/color activity. You can do the same skill with either covering the numbers or coloring in the spaces.

The rainbow picture I used on die and created a roll and color. I drew out a rainbow and filled the spaces with the numerals 1-6. The child will then roll the die and color based on the number they roll on the die. The goal is for your child to be able to look at the dice dot configuration and know what number it represents without counting. You also want your child to quickly recognize which numeral matches the number of dots.

In the umbrella picture, I drew raindrops (ok some look like hearts, but hey it is what it is). On each raindrop I wrote the numerals 2-12. For this set you would use two dice and have your child roll both. If your child understands addition, they can use addition facts. If not, have your child find the bigger die, in this case 6, then count up on the smaller one, 6, 7, 8. This is the counting on property. It is a beginning step of addition. If your child is confident in the dice configuration of the numbers 1-6, they should be able to move onto this concept. It might take a bit of practice to not start counting at one, but it is a key skill needed for addition.

This same concept can be used with more than two dice, or even to practice multiplication. If your child is working on multi digit numbers, you could have two different color dice and the blue is the first digit and the green is the second and they have to say that 46 is forty-six or 51 is fifty one for example.