Maths is fun in the early childhood classroom as we count, measure and problem solve our way through the day. With the International Day of Mathematics coming up soon on 14 March, there’s no better time to think about ways of incorporating a little more maths into the daily program. While there are some suggestions on the International Day of Mathematics website, most of them are more suited to older children.
Here at readilearn we have over 100 mathematics lessons and activities ready to support your teaching and children’s learning. Many of the resources are digital lessons ready for you to teach on the interactive whiteboard. Some are printable activities to follow up and extend children’s learning, while others provide instructions and explanations for mathematical explorations.
Plan a party to celebrate
There’s nothing like a party to instigate some mathematical thinking.
If you decide to have a party to celebrate the day, you could start ahead with the interactive problem solving story Little Koala’s Party. In the story, children help Little Koala work out the number of guests as well as food and other items required for the party. They can use the same strategies to plan a party of their own. Other resources, like invitation notepaper and a paper hat template, help to extend the learning across curriculum areas.
While you might ask children to bring food from home to share at the party, following recipes together at school involves children in using mathematics in real and purposeful ways. They may need to count, and measure quantities as well as time. Recipes can be found in the Cooking section.
Or perhaps you’d like a pizza party. Sharing pizzas provides opportunities for counting and discussing fractions as well as the concept of equal shares. The interactive resource What’s on your pizza? introduces these concepts and provides opportunities for discussing children’s favourite pizzas and deciding what to make or order. A range of other pizza-themed resources help to extend the learning and make it fun.
On the day
Get the day off to a mathematical start using the Who is here today? Interactive chart as an informal record of attendance and to count the number of children who are and are not at school.
Follow this with the Classroom Daily Calendar in which children discuss and identify the day, date, month, weather and season. Children may be interested to know that these everyday activities involve the use of mathematics. It is good for them to develop an explicit understanding of the place and importance of maths in everyday life.
Continuing through the day, there are lessons in number, fractions, shape, data collection and problem solving with some games to play in the afternoon to send the children home happy. Many of the lessons and activities integrate mathematical learning with other curriculum areas so there’s no need to worry about focusing only on maths.
Often after taking attendance and discussing the day, date and weather, the next step is number work, especially if you are counting the first 100 days of school (or counting down to the close of the school year).
The Busy Bees 100 chart is useful for counting the number of school days as well as for all your counting up to 100 activities, such as counting in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s from any starting number, identifying the number that comes before, after or between, or calculating the next number in a sequence. Activities such as these get the children’s brains working for other number activities.
Find lessons focusing on number in the number section. These are just a few of what’s available:
I spy a counting game is an interactive game counting up to ten.
The interactive 100 Ladybirds helps children develop an idea of what a collection of objects numbering up to 100 looks like.
Printable Busy Bee Number lines and dice can be used to help children develop their understanding of numbers to 20. Suggestions for games and activities are included.
If you are teaching place value, Beginning place value — the train game explains a fun activity that helps children understand the concept of place value.
Collect 100 flowers for Busy Bee — a counting game helps reinforce understanding of numbers to 100 when children make, count and add tallies. It can be played alone or with others.
Exploring number combinations encourages children to think creatively about the ways in which groups of up to ten can be arranged.
Patterns and Algebra
In Teddy Bear Sorting, children choose criteria for sorting bears into two or more groups.
In Fun with Flowers, children complete repeating patterns, add groups of flowers and match flowers by colour.
Hang the Baubles – Repeating patterns is another resource with a series of lessons about repeating patterns.
Dragona’s Lost Egg In this interactive story, children help Artie identify Dragona’s egg by sorting the eggs according to features such as shape, size and colour.
In Two scoops of ice cream please, children investigate how many different combinations of two scoops of ice cream can be made using four different flavours.
The interactive digital resource Which egg is mine? helps children to develop logical thinking and descriptive mathematical language such as size, shape, colour and pattern.
In Shape it up — Exploring 2D shapes, children have opportunities to explore, discuss and revise 2D shapes; including circles, triangles, oblong rectangles and squares.
Pass the Bag of 3D shapes — A game for maths groups provides instructions for playing a game in which children identify 3D shapes by touch. Printable game boards are also available.
Conducting class surveys is one of the easiest ways of introducing children to data collection, representation and interpretation.
The Getting to know you surveys are great for the beginning of the year, but other surveys to investigate children’s interests and activities throughout the year are also valid.
The Yes or No class surveys provides further suggestions.
There are many games to play either as a whole class or in small groups. These are but a few:
Draw a butterfly game in which children complete the body parts of a butterfly depending on the number rolled on a dice.
Games for maths groups #1 lists a variety of games that are suitable for playing in groups.
Collect the eggs — a game for maths groups provides children with practice in counting on and back with numbers up to 20.
Collect the treats — a place value game for Halloween can be used at any time of the year to consolidate understanding of place value.
These lessons and activities are only a small selection of the readilearn mathematics collection. Click here to explore others.
I hope you find them useful in your celebration of the International Day of Mathematics.
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