Will your child be ready for kindergarten?

Will your child be ready for kindergarten?

Did you happen to notice the Google Doodle of Emmy Noether, a mathematician? Some of her work is based on nature’s patterns, so let’s take a math nature walk.

Spring is an ideal time to look for patterns in nature. Trees do not yet have their leaves so it’s easier to see how the trunk of a tree is much bigger than the branches. Near the bottom of the tree branches are thick, but as the branches divide they get smaller and smaller. That’s a pattern.

Are there any pine cones on the ground? The sections start big and get smaller closer to the top too. You might be able to see the spiral pattern in the cone. Animals and bugs wear patterns. Waves and ripples make them.

There are many shapes in nature. Flowers are often like circles. Trees look like an upside down triangle. Beaks are a very pointy triangle. Corners are hard to find in nature.

Some plants will have new leaves and we can show kids how one side of the leaf looks like the other side. The two halves of the shape are symmetrical. What shapes are the clouds?

On a nature math walk, we can also count. There might be a few flowers in a patch. Together, we can count them. If the flowers are different colors, we can see if there are more of one color than the others. Bigger/smaller and more/fewer are math concepts that kids can explore on a nature walk. Are there more flowers or more rocks? What rock is the biggest?

Kids need lots of experiences of all different kinds as they learn. Sometimes, adults and children in higher grades ask why they have to learn so much math. Even worse, math anxiety and math phobia can affect one out of every 4 people, that’s 25%. Going for a nature walk in the spring and finding ways to discover and use math helps kids develop the idea that math is a natural part of the world. That’s an intentional play on words and kids need to play with math too. What other math can kids find on a spring nature walk?

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Dinosaurs are great for all kinds of fun and learning in Dinovember and anytime of the year. Dinosaurs know lots about numbers, think of how long ago they lived! Number sense is something that children develop. Play experiences with numbers also promote a positive attitude about math. What other math play activities can kids do with dinosaurs?… Continue Reading

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Surprisingly, even toddlers and preschoolers can make a simple graph with Halloween treats–it’s easy as can be to make a bar graph using, of course, chocolate bars. Counting is a math skill that needs lots of practice. Another important math concept is one-to-one matching. These are just a few of the math tricks that can be done with Halloween treats. The candies are treats for eating as well as treats for thinking and learning.… Continue Reading

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Halloween candy is more than a sweet treat; it’s also a treat to use for some learning activities with toddlers and preschoolers. Usually, the first activity with Halloween loot is to sort it into different groups. This is a lot of brain activity just to sort Halloween candies into groups. After sorting Halloween candy, kids can help sort the laundry, or sort the forks and spoons in the kitchen drawer. … Continue Reading

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Who knew a dollar store package of googly eyes could be used for some much Halloween fun and learning? Today, we used the eyes for some Monster Math. Sorting, patterns, counting, matching and more made for a number of monster math activities. Any math monsters at your house?… Continue Reading

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One of the basic learning skills for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten kids, is also one of the skills that helps adults be very successful at their jobs. What is it? It’s the skill of patterning. Being smart isn’t so much because of how much a person knows as it is how that information is stored in the brain. Patterns are a very efficient strategy for dealing with huge amounts of information.… Continue Reading

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Counting is an activity that we do with kids from the time they are babies, and eventually, they start to count on their own. First, they learn the words for numbers in whatever language is used at home and use whatever numbers they happen to remember. Gradually, they use more numbers in the right order. As they repeat counting activities over and over, they figure out that 1 number goes with 1 thing. This helps develop their number sense.… Continue Reading

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Play counts as powerful a learning activity and play can help kids learn counting and other math skills. Playing with numbers is one way to support kids as they get ready to start kindergarten. Play with numbers and with basic math ideas is important for children’s confidence when it comes to math activities at school. … Continue Reading

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Have you heard or read that some doctors are writing prescriptions for kids with the orders: Go Outside and Play? There is so much that kids can do outside, especially in summer. This is a series of posts on different ways of having fun outside for kids that supports early learning and later kindergarten readiness.… Continue Reading

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Have you been watching any World Cup Soccer? Soccer games use some basic math concepts–most important is the score–and can help kids as they learn and develop their number sense. It is easy for kids to understand that each time a ball goes in the net that it is counted. As children sort out that… Continue Reading

Filed Under: Math Activities