Sunday, 9 October 2011

Counting is of utmost importance!

My university Maths lecturer will be very proud of me for remembering how she stressed the importance of counting. She once told us how she counted her footsteps as she walked, counted the stairs she was climbing, counted in traffic, in the shower, counted, counted, counted....and I thought to myself at the time: "Hey, I do that too!" (And I still do!)

The more time I spend with children who battle with Maths concepts the more I realise how important this seemingly "simple" activity is. To have a concept of the order of numbers when counting forwards and backwards is vitally important to success in Maths.

Once very young children have come to grips with counting from 0-10 and can "hear" the pattern, it is easy for them to grasp counting on from 20, 30, 40, etc as the pattern stays the same. (The early "teen" numbers are, of course, a little trickier to learn as the auditory pattern is not quite the same, but from fourteen to nineteen is a little easier!)

Once children are at school it is not just hearing and saying numbers that is important...seeing them and being able to "read" what they see and order numbers from smallest to biggest and vice versa becomes important. To begin with counting numbers are ordered. As their understanding progresses children become able to order non-consecutive numbers and compare the values of these numbers. To do this they must have an understanding of the numerosity of numbers and be able to count on and back from any number! Counting, counting, counting!

If you wish to practice counting in your classroom, I have just posted a Halloween themed Math Center Activity to both my TpT and TNB stores. "Spooky Cookie Counting" has activities and worksheets included to practice all the counting skills mentioned above.

Happy counting!

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Friday, 7 October 2011

World Smile Day - Pass it on!

Happy World Smile Day...I didn't even know such a day existed, but it does! why not pass on as many smiles as you can today - and encourage your students to do so too! (Read more about it by clicking on the smiley!)

To celebrate World Smile Day here is a cute idea for a Maths activity...Have your students (Grades K-3) work in pairs to measure each others smiles using a tape measure or piece of string and non-standard measures and count each others teeth - and gaps! Here is a worksheet they can complete.

Click on the image to download from Google Docs.
 Keep smiling!

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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Trash to Treasure Linky Party

Scipi, at the blog, Go Figure!, is hosting a terrific Linky Party! In these times of trying to SAVE - time, resources, money, energy, the environment...the list goes on! - how wonderful it is to know that the things we use and do in our classrooms support this endeavour and teach our students to do the same.

I have both an idea to share and a free product available for download that support the endeavour to use recyclables in the classroom. Maths is by far my favourite subject to teach and I just love having a multitude of interesting manipulatives for my students to use. BOTTLE TOPS of all sizes and colours are a tremendous resource for your classroom. Have the children bring different ones form home to add to your collection. They can be used for a multitude of sorting, graphing and tallying activities. Sort according to colour, size, plastic/metal, ribbed edge/smooth edge, etc.

MAGAZINES are a terrific resource for all subject areas. I have created a mini-unit entitled 'Magazine Madness' which explores a number of Literacy activities that you can add to your Literacy Centers or Writers' Workshop. You can download your free copy of Magazine Madness by clicking on the image to the left. 
Why not share your Trash to Treasure ideas by linking on Scipi's blog?!

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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fall and Halloween Linky Party

Teacher Tam's Educational Adventures is holding a Fall and Halloween Linky Party. Visit her store to link to a number of stunning ideas for projects, lessons and activities...simply click on the picture or the link above.
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