Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kindergarten math

If you have young children, and you haven't checked out Harry Kindergarten on youtube.com yet, you really must!  Mr Harry really teaches kindergarten, and shares all the learning videos he makes for free, on youtube.com.  We love his songs, and use one during our singing and dancing time almost every week.

Last week we watched Add Em Up, a chant about adding 1, from 1 - 10.  The kiddos sang along and showed the numbers with their fingers, they all understood counting on to the next number.  Later in the week, working with my kindergarteners, we sang the song again, and used unifix cubes to act it out.  The kiddos wanted to do it over and again, so we did.

Next we sang it again, but used the cuisinaire blocks to show adding one each time.  The kiddos hadn't realized that the blocks could represent numbers, and were fascinated.

Exploring with the blocks, we were able to add them up to 10 in a lot of different ways.  As we finished putting this together, one of the kiddos exclaimed, "It's the same!"  We played around for a while with matching the sets of blocks, seeing how 9+1 = 1+9.  This is a really important concept for young kiddos to understand, so I was thrilled to see that connection happening!
Another of our daily math activities is math journals.  We're starting the year off by focusing on each number, making sure the children really "get" what they mean.  We're looking at ways to represent numbers, and learning how to write each one, essential foundation skills to master.  Here's a look at one of our pages, in progress:
Sorry it is upside down!  You can see that we write the numeral, the number word (if they use beautiful handwriting I "let" them do it again in color pencils), put on the correct number of stickers, make a tally, a ten frame, a clock, and dice.  That's a lot of ways to show a number!  I would love to say I came up with this all by myself, but the truth is, I've been looking at a lot of blogs, and some worksheets, and decided these were the skills I wanted to work on.  Thank you to all the teachers who have shared their ideas!

Here's another activity we're doing, this one from Dr. Jean.  It's her Macarena Count to 100, which we also watch on Youtube.com.  We sang the song as each child pointed to the numerals on their 100 chart - which gave me an opportunity to see how well they could match them.  Good news, they did an awesome job.
 To challenge their 100 chart knowledge, I copied the chart onto colored paper, and created "puzzles" out of them.  We started with 4 pieces puzzles, which were too easy.
 I told them the 8 piece puzzles were harder, and they were!  Do you think this child is pleased to have completed it?  Oh yes!
 The children insisted that the puzzles were still too easy, so I played along, and gave them each a colored page, to make their own.  They were sure they could make their puzzles too hard for me!
 I did manage to do all their puzzles, although one had 18 pieces!  Finally I challenged them to do their own puzzle, and to glue it down to take home.  They worked so hard!
We also played a game I came up with that we call Roll, Count, Stick.  I staple paper scraps together to make tiny books (kids LOVE tiny things!), and to play, the children have a dice, pencil, stickers, and blank book.  They roll the dice, count the dots, write the number, and illustrate it with the correct number of stickers.
 Here's one more of our math activities: calendar.  The kindergarteners each have their own calendar, and each day they add the number, and continue a color pattern.  This is one more chance to practice forming numerals, and a fun way to look at patterns.  As the month progresses, the AB pattern we're doing will turn into a checkerboard, and they'll see that the pattern can be looked at in multiple ways.  Math is full of patterns!
 As the year, and more importantly, the children, progress, we'll change out the skills we're working on.  One thing that won't change is the fun.  Math, like all our other learning, should be both enjoyable and meaningful. 

Have fun learning!

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