The purpose of the math activities in this section is to familiarize the child with number concepts, directions, space and time relationships, and to develop an understanding of likenesses and differences in his/her world by comparing objects.
Each activity is designed to help the child build recognition and verbal ability in dealing with numerals, numbers, and math concepts. Children need to be able to recognize likenesses and differences when dealing with mathematics. Opportunities should be provided to develop appropriate vocabulary such as: longer, shorter, bigger, smaller, more, less, heavier and lighter. This will aid the children when formal mathematical training begins.
The preschool teacher should present the material on cards using a quick pace. Daily review will aid the children in retaining what has been presented. Children using these activities should feel comfortable and confident in answering orally. To accomplish this, please refrain from testing the child. Present the material in a friendly, supportive manner. If a child answers incorrectly, listen carefully to the child. He/She might be answering another problem. Reteach or model the correct answer for the children.
Other math activities that use hands-on experiences and help in the development of math vocabulary might not proceed at the brisk pace that working with shape cards would.
A few examples are listed below.
Shape Cards (Spatial Relationships)
Cut out the shapes. The red color catches the children's attention. Mount the shapes on 9" x 9" oak tag. Write the name of the shape on the back of the card in the upper right-hand corner. These cards will be used each class period, so to extend the use of the cards, it is advisable to laminate the set. Practice the recognition of the shapes throughout the year.
Hold up the card and say, "This is a circle." Hold up the next card and say, "This is a triangle." Tell the children what the shape is while they are looking at the card. After a session where the children hear the words, then point out the number of sides that each shape has. Look at the shape of the circle. After another few sessions, ask the children to respond after you tell them the shape. Also, after a few sessions, you can begin to find shapes that are similar in the room--such as the square table.
Materials Needed - Shape cards. These are 9" x 9" oak tag cards with shapes cut out on red construction paper. These are then laminated. The size of the shapes is made by using the patterns found in the pattern portion of the book.
Will It Fit? (Spatial Relationships)
Materials Needed - Large and small pots and pans, boxes of different sizes, bottles, plastic catsup bottles, cups, etc. These objects are to be used to hold the following items: different-sized balls, straws, wooden dowel pieces cut to 4" in length.
Time of Day (Time)
Materials Needed - Pictures of a child asleep in bed, a child playing ball, a child waking up, a child at school, and a child putting on pajamas. Mount the pictures on oak tag or stiff paper and laminate to increase durability.
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