How do we teach preschoolers mathematical concepts? Number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, spacial awareness, ordering and patterns… Mother Goose Time has thought of it all!
Let’s begin with the amazing Math Manipulatives that are included each month!
For the month of December (Winter Wonderland), we received a set of colored cubes and snowflakes for each class. To go along with these useful manipulatives, there are activity cards, games, and lessons in which they are used, all spelled out in the Teacher Lesson Plan Book. The activities pictured above were from two different days. One was “Snowflake Math” and the other was all about the shapes of Arctic Gear. We have used these manipulatives in the sensory table, at the math table, they have been built with, stacked, and sorted. They have even been used creatively at the carpet with other toys- the fun is endless!
One morning, the children were having so much fun stacking the cubes, but we couldn’t quite stack them as tall as each other (there weren’t enough and they wouldn’t stick together). So, we got inspired to pull out some other cubes that would stick together. We pretended they were ice cubes and measured how many ice cubes tall we were. We broke our really tall stack into groups of 10 to count them a bit easier. It took us a while to count the ice cubes for each child, but they were excited to have a turn and help each other.
In a similar way, we measured each kiddo compared to a small Spruce Tree on the wall. Children love to have a turn and it is fun to compare ourselves to the things around us.
During our “Winter Wonderland” unit, Mother Goose Time provided a variety of fun activities for spacial awareness. There was a snowman puzzle matching game that we laminated to help it last the rest of the month because it was so fun.
When we learned about snow leopards, the activity was to cut the given picture in half, glue it to the white background paper, and then draw the missing half of the picture. This was challenging, and it was so interesting to see how each child approached this task. For our toddlers, their teacher cut the picture of the snow leopard into a few pieces and they put it back together like a puzzle (Little Goose Supplement).
Each month there are a variety of math games included. There are games for counting, patterning, number recognition, and anytime we count, add, or subtract, we are learning one-to-one correspondence.
It may look like these cuties are just playing with blocks, but they are actually using spacial awareness to create a tree line that fits within the blue line on the wall. They are stacking blocks to be tall enough, like trees, and all of these skills are quite challenging- this is not “just playing”. (This activity was not in the MGT lesson plans, but it was so clever and the children loved it.)
Not only is so much included in the monthly curriculum to foster mathematical skills, but there is also the “Toy Box” recommendations from Mother Goose Time for fun things that will coincide with what we are learning. We have not actually purchased the toy boxes (because we have been doing this long enough that we have most of the toys/games/puzzles, etc. in our collection) but as I understand it, the toy boxes come with cards for even more ideas of how they can be used in the classroom. We look at what items are included so we can pull from our collection as we plan for the month. Each of these activities foster counting, balance, shape/color recognition, stacking, and are just plain fun. We have loved this Winter Wonderland unit and we love Mother Goose Time!