The Language of Mathematics
Learning numeral identification and counting skills is certainly an important part of a preschool career. However, there are also more subtle, but necessary mathematics skills for a preschooler to obtain as they make their way to kindergarten. One of these is learning the language of mathematics: more than, less than, equals, a lot, some, fewer, take away, add, etc...
Our preschoolers do this naturally as we play math games from Mother Goose Time Curriculum. Usually once a month, we get a "Would You Rather" graphing game. This game changes with each new theme. Our theme this month was Winter in the Woods. Each of the students were given a bear counter and were asked to use this on our graphing chart in answer to the question asked.
For example, when asked, "Would you rather be a bear or a mouse?", the students placed their bear counter under the picture of the animal they would rather be. During the first question, the students placed their bears very haphazardly. We took the time to learn how to properly line up the bears in a graphing manner so that it was easy to see which column had more and which had less.
After choices were made, we counted each column and decided which had more, which had less, or if they were equal.
For some, it was easy for them to see that the longer line meant there were more. For others, it was necessary for them to count each column to decide. Some could county visually and some needed to touch each object to count correctly. I observed each child and made notes to asses each of their abilities. This helps me know exactly what to work on with each student. I also compile my findings in each student's portfolio and review it with the parents during our semi-annual conferences.
Another natural math concept we learn with MGT is patterning. Our daily calendar pieces are each adorned with a color and an image. As we place each calendar piece up daily, we begin to form a pattern on our circle time board. Eventually, we are able to see it develop and are able to use it as a teaching method for patterns. The first month of the school year is always a simple AB pattern. You can see this month is a bit more complex: an ABB pattern. Patterning is one of our 4 year old's favorite math skills. We introduce it to our 3 year old's and after a year of preschool, they are spotting patterns everywhere and building on to create more complex pattern designs.
Thanks to MGT, our students are always learning new skills while they explore their environment and are hard at play. To learn more about the curriculum we receive at no cost for our honest opinion of our experience, visit www.mothergoosetime.com.