Many parents and teachers think about what lies ahead for their preschool students. Are they happy and engaged at school? Do they understand age-appropriate educational concepts? Will they be ready for kindergarten?
One way to prepare them is to help them better understand numbers and other basic mathematical concepts. While many may have learned to count at a very early age, the next step is helping them get the meaning behind numbers. Fortunately, there are many creative preschool math activities that focus on counting, matching and comparing, all of which can help young students connect the dots.
Try these three activities in your classroom and watch students have fun while thriving academically:
Create a class counting book: It's likely all of your students have at least one counting book at home. But what if you were to create a book as a class — one inspired by a familiar setting such as the preschool itself? (For example: one slide, two teachers, three teddy bears, four trucks, five chairs.) Help the children glue numbers on the pages that correspond to cutouts representing objects, routines and people, all connected to the real classroom setting. Read the book together as a class and they can each have their own copy to take home to read with their families.
Snack time is learning time: Create or download printouts that can be used as placemats, then allow students to match finger foods to the printed numbers and pictures. For example, you could create a yard scene and have students plant four baby carrots in the “ground,” then three grape tomatoes on the “bush,” with five clementine orange pieces to make a flower. Then have a quick discussion to make numerical comparisons. Which “garden plot” has the most food? Which has the least? What happens if you add three carrots?
Building bricks to math: Many teachers are turning to LEGO Duplos as a teaching tool. One idea is to have students build number towers with these bricks. With a permanent marker, write one number on each brick and have the children build a tower with the numbers in order. Or they can build a series of towers, each with a certain number of bricks. Finally, print off cards that shows simple patterns they can duplicate. For example, one could have a series of alternating yellow and blue bricks.
Before it's time for your students to graduate and move on to kindergarten, you can help them get ready for learning in the classroom. With some creativity, you can create math activities for preschoolers that are both fun and able to cultivate learning.
Need some ideas on how to get your students excited about learning math? Use these three engaging math activities in your classroom to prepare your students for Kindergarten.