In my last Math post “Number Fun” I talked about some of the attributes of numbers that children need to learn. I mentioned that children need to learn that each number has a quantity; most children can count to a number but have no idea what the number represents.
When we think of a number, we can picture the number itself in our minds, we can picture where the number stands on a number line, what numbers are greater or smaller than the number, and we can picture all the different ways that number amount could be rearranged spatially. It takes a lot of repetition and hands-on experience to store a repertoire of number concepts into a memory. So get busy!!!!
If your child still doesn’t know their number names “1, 2, 3 4….”, up to 10, out of order, then they may not be ready to learn the number amount yet. Master the basics first.
Here is a number activity for your child to practice counting one object at a time in a set group of objects and identify the number they counted. Ask them to count each group of objects and find the number to draw a line from the amount to the number.
Little Miss Muffet would be glad to know that her legend lives on. We all grew up reading, singing, and memorizing a variety of nursery rhymes, but would you know that children are still expected to know nursery rhymes? Yep…it is a GLE (Grade Level Expectation) for pre-k and k kiddos. There are a few reasons behind this seemingly dated benchmark. 1) Children are expected to be able to recognize familiar songs and rhymes for extended learning in classrooms, 2) Children are expected to utilize their memory, 3) Hearing and making up rhymes is a reading indicator!
I understand if you tuned me out for the first two reasons but did you hear what I said? Yes, rhyming is a tier on the reading ladder. If a child can hear and make up rhymes then that means that they can manipulate sounds in words, and manipulating sounds is a big chunk of what reading consists of in early readers. Rhyming is a definite pre-reading activity. 🙂
So, go crazy around your house speaking in rhyme: “Are you ready Freddy?” “See you later gator!” “After a while, crocodile” “That’s easy cheesy!”
Explain to your child that rhymes sound the same at the end of the word. So you can say two rhyming words in a sing-song way and it sounds almost the same, but if you say two non-rhyming words in a sing-song way then it just sounds awkward.
So, check out some mother goose books from the library and read some nursery rhymes to your kids and, of course, here is a hands-on activity.
Open the Rhyming activity attachment. Print it, see if your child can identify all the pictures (name them), and ask your child to color all the words that rhyme with “sat” red (-at word family) and then color all the other pictures whatever other color they would like.
Note: The first rhyming activity you do should focus on seeing if they can hear a rhyme or not. So, if you take out this sheet and say the names of everything on the paper, dont just ask them to find the rhyming words. Ask “Does cat rhyme with sat?” Then, “What about bear? Does bear rhyme with cat?” Say them right next to eat other and wait for a “yes” or “no” from your child. For example, “Cat, sat?” “Bear, Sat?” Give guidance for the activity. If your child says “yes” to cat, say “Good listening! Color it red because cat rhymes with sat!” If your child isn’t getting any right, put the activity sheet away and work on just making up silly rhymes and give this a lot of practice before continuing or moving on.
Writing can be such an exciting thing for a little one, but it can also be frustrating and even painful. Yes, painful. Just like when your hand gets a cramp after you have been writing for a little while, children have not used those little muscles in their hands much. So, they need to develop their fine motor skills before they have the endurance and coordination needed to write. If you want to give your child a chance to develop those fine motor skills, give him/her plenty of informal writing time (coloring, chalking, stenciling, etc), but be sensitive if your little one wants a break. There are so many ways to exercise their little hands to prime for writing –including cutting with scissors….Yep! Let them cut with a child-safe scissors (monitoring of course) – watch how they hold the scissors…you will be surprised that they need a lot of assistance….be patient! At first, don’t even give them things to cut out, just ask them to cut up lots of paper. I always explain to my students that there is a time and place for everything so this is their chance to “be out of control” because I don’t want them cutting up just any paper any time making a mess when I haven’t planned for it haha.
Activity: Trace name, decorate and cut fringe on their “crown.”
Step 1: Fold a piece of paper, cardstock, or construction paper in thirds. I didn’t get out the ruler and measure ya’ll, but if you are a perfectionist…measure away!
Step 2: Cut along folded lines. I didn’t get out my paper cutter either, but by all means…
Step 3: Staple –or tape- the ends together. I staple with the flat side on the inside of the strip so it doesn’t irritate their forehead.
Step 4: Freehand a dot-to-dot of their name for them to trace.
Step 5: Let them decorate! Remember that even scribbling works those little muscles in their hand.
Step 6: Let them cut “little bites” all around the top…you may have to hold their hand to help. Then let them ruffle the edge.
Step 7: Measure their head with the strip and hold your place where you need to staple/tape.
Step 8: Give them some “Queen” or “King for the day” choices 🙂
*My 6 month old son had to model my hat haha
Simplicity is underestimated…but today, i have some simple math measures for you to take.
When it comes to numbers, you want your child to store away those number images in their minds; you want him/her to visualize the numbers when they are counting and not just saying the number words when counting. One of the simplest ways to help him/her in this process is to read counting books to your child. Ask him/her questions about the number…”What does this number look like?” -number one a fishing pole, number two has a candy cane in it, etc. These associations help your child to recall the number by visualizing it in many ways.
Another way kids store things into their memory for easy recall is HANDS-ON learning. This is probably the most advocated form of teaching young children, and for good reason.
So, one way you can create a hands-on activity using things around your house is to make a word document of numbers. Blow them up to whatever size you like (I chose 500 of the font “Color Font”). Then print, cut out, and trace onto a thick paper type (I chose a marker box because it was what was in front of me at the moment), but you could also use: cardstock, a file folder, sandpaper—great for texture, or something that you would recycle like a cereal box. Cut the number out, put a piece of paper over it, and then let your child color over the number until it appears.
A great beginner reading activity is to read a book to your child and ask him/her to draw something about it: their favorite part, favorite character, silliest part, etc. If your child says “I dont know how to draw” ask what he wants to draw and give him some simple tips like “Maybe you can draw a circle ‘like this’ for the ‘pig’ in the book”. Then write the date, the book title, and what he drew (the exact way that he dictates it to you) at the top. Read it out loud as you write so that he begins to understand that you are writing in order to tell a story about his drawing. Then, later on, if you ask him to tell you about the book I bet his picture will jog his memory.
I know you are probably beginning to think that you are going to accumulate so much stuff, and you might. But for now, here is something you can do….Start a binder with 3 dividers: Reading, Writing, Math. It will help to keep them organized. Here are three dividing pages for you below if you want them: