Wednesday, February 10, 2016

 More Valentine Fun...
 We started out this week talking about Valentines Day like thousands of other PreK classrooms I'm sure. This was a great math activity that the kids really enjoyed. I think the key to any PreK activity is finding something they like to do, like painting and make it a learning activity. We are really working on one-to-one correspondence and counting to 20 so that was my main purpose with this activity. 

 Heart Shaped Cookie Cutters, Different Sizes 
 Paint ( I used Red, Purple and Pink)
 Paper Plates for Paint
 Large Construction Paper
 Marker to write names
 Wet Wipes to clean up

I simply wrote "20 hearts" on their paper and let the children write their own names. Though many of them are still working on getting their names just right I think it is important to get them in the habit of writing their own names on their work. At this point I recognize all of their signatures. (:

I used 6 cookie cutters, 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large (another concept we talked about) and gave them the instructions to make and count 20 hearts. I let them choose the combination of colors and cutters they wanted to use and had them count out loud as they made each one. I listened and guided them if and when they got stuck on a number but for the most part this activity went rather smoothly. I have only 2 or 3 kiddos that can count to 20 without help and another 12 or so that count anywhere from 13 to 19. The other 5 can usually get to 10 by themselves when counting rote but if I give them an activity they have to concentrate on while counting it throws in a whole new dimension. So there were a couple I needed to count with the during the whole process.

The great thing about an activity like this, is that it forces them to slow down and count. Unlike moving your finger down a row of teddy bears and counting heads (where kids tend to go a little to fast and skip a few bears along the way) this activity requires several steps for each number. This slows the pace a bit and gives them time to think about each number as they decide where to put the next heart on the paper.

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