Anyone that has read our class blog for very long knows I HEART games that teach!!! This sweet octopus counting game is no exception!! Just look at his happy face! How couldn't you not be drawn right in and want to play with him?!?
Another thing I LOVE about the games we receive from Mother Goose Time is that they are not of a competitive nature, but rather they promote teamwork and a "We ALL win together" attitude. The children have to work together, take turns, make observations, create solutions, and practice self regulation to reach a common end goal of "winning the game."
This game involves rolling dice and using the round counter tabs in conjunction with the number of the dice to correspond to the amount of counter tabs to place on the octopus tentacle. (At least that is how we played it!)
I had one child roll the dice and the other child count out the correct number of tabs. Then the child that rolled was able to place the tabs onto the octopus. Then the children would switch rolls until the octopus was full. The children would then count all the tabs together and tally how many rolls of the dice it took to reach the end. The fewer rolls the better, but in the end, they reached the last place on the last tentacle and it was HOOOORAYS all around!!
Our Ocean Commotion month has been filled with math opportunities.
Our educational partners at Mother Goose Time provided us with an ocean themed matching game with real pictures of ocean animals, and these beautiful shells to count to the number 15 and 16 with (our focus number this month). We used these little ocean gems to match sizes, order from largest to smalled and reverse, count from 1-16 (and beyond since we had about 40 of them), group into 2, 3, 4, and 5's for skip counting and to imagine what types of animals called them home (not math, but some fun physical science!).
Giving children objects to hold, count, order, and compare is math and science in real time that little minds can concretely make meaningful connections with.
We utilize "teachable moments" with our little learners that encourage hands on learning that is far superior than rote flashcard memorizations. Yes, the clean up can be a bit more daunting, but the results speak for themselves...
Www.education.com supports this method, " In an attempt to foster their child’s academic development, many well meaning parents may be tempted to provide flash cards as an initial learning tool. This is not the best method for teaching young children math skills with understanding, says Grace Davila Coates, Program Director of Family Math (Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley) and co-author of Family Math for Young Children. “Many three-year-olds may be able to identify a 3, but they don’t understand what 3 means. It's important for parents to understand the difference between conceptual learning and skill development," she says. "Instead of flashcards, look for teachable moments, count things that are familiar to the child as she plays or helps you with simple chores. Counting socks, toy cars, or other toys will maintain her attention and have more meaning for her. Play is learning for three and four-year olds.
Follow their interests and create environments that encourage creativity and exploration.” https://www.education.com/magazine/article/preschool-number-recognition-counting-easy/
Following our preschooler's interests and creating environments that support those are what we do at Woolsey Academy for Young Learners everyday.
Children LOVE to study oceans and the life inside of them. Shells, fish, whales, coral, water...especially the octopus!
In all my years as lead "awakener" here at Woolsey Academy, the octopus ranks right up there in preschool land with the dinosaur.
It has 8 arms or tentacles, it has a squishy body, it squirts black ink it has suction cups!!! What isn't to LOVE about these amazing creatures of the deep?
This month our educational partners at Mother Goose Time paid homage to this amazing ocean dweller with this sweet study and craft.
They provided a math study counting it's arms by adding and subtracting to make 8. We added another lesson to that curing our S.T.E.A.M. project by adding these fun round stickers to create "suckers" on the tentacles as we counted how many we added. We then brought a little introduction of multiplication as we stated that, "If I have 2 suckers on each arm (8 arms total), how many do I have all together?"
We counted by 2's and then we observed that we had 16!
After reading the book, "How To Hide An Octopus", we pretended to be an octopus and find camouflage to hide in, on, and under. We practiced using these positional words (pre-math and language comprehension) as our older children assisted our littler ones in performing the task.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com