End of discussion.
If you want to create math minds,.. play.
I am not talking about giving children toys and saying, "Here you go, play this." I mean play WITH them. Create Invitations to Play that engage their senses and natural curiosity.
This is easily done in the preschool setting and our educators at Mother Goose Time provide an excellent foundation for math skills through multiple Invitations to Play throughout the school day.
What is an Invitation to Play?
Creating an "Invitation to Play" may sound complex at first, but it is very simple. It is "staging" areas of play that the child is naturally interested in and stocking those areas with items that they can utilize that encourage skill building. This can be done for Language Arts, Science, Social/Emotional, Math, Music, etc.
This is just one of our simple, yet highly effective "Invitations to Play."
Don't those colorful little blocks just say, "PICK ME UP!!!"???
Our children carted these from one area of the room to the next. They placed them on the scales and weighed them. Three blocks on this side, eight blocks on that side. They would readjust the numbers and weigh over and over to see if 6 blocks weighed more than 2, and if 10 blocks weighed more than 1. They would grab a friend and giggle and guess whose side would go up or down. They would squeal, "I WON!!!!" with glee when their side was heavier or lighter depending on the rules they had set up for their newly created, self-directed math game.
Our partner educator, Mother Goose Time, sent us these 1 inch colored cubes with our Winter Wonderland theme for the month of December and by our children's reactions these will stay out for a LONG time!
Here they decided to see "How many more would it take to make 10?" So one child set out a certain number of blocks (5 here), and the other child would count along from 5 to determine how to make 10. This is algebra in the pre-k years. It is play. It is a beautiful mix of self-directed learning and mastery that makes this teacher swoon!!!
-In this video one of our younger 3's became a bit excited as he grabbed the "7" from his older classmate. She handled it like a champ! We have a mixed-age, small private center and we teach our older children to be understanding and patient of the younger ones. This little learner was focused on the task despite the distractions and obtained her goal!
Aren't my kids the CUTEST?!?!
As Early Childhood Educators we must provide these experiences.
"The basic math skills teachers provide in early childhood education set the building blocks for the entire academic career. Without learning simple skills like number sense, math concepts and simple application of ideas like adding, children are not prepared to move into elementary education. "-Room 241 Team of Concordia University-Portland
Not only did our students use these little blocks for counting, they used them to build rows and columns alone and with friends. They use them each day for measuring how long one doll is in comparison to another, and how tall the T-Rex is compared to the Stegosaurus.
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