Teachers are always looking for new ways to educate and engage children in their classroom, no matter what age. In child care, this is no different. Whether it’s finding new ways to teach math or helping children read, teachers are always looking for fun, new ways to help children learn. We’ve talked about resources like Pinterest, but after reading, “Early Math Skills Crucial to Children’s Learning,” I wanted to share some other ideas.
In the blog post, the author talked about taking children on a “leaf hunt”, an ideal activity this time of year. He shared that children could look for leaves of a specific color or of a certain shape. Then he talked about comparing them—what leaf is bigger? What leaf is greener? This comparison exercise got children thinking about math skills without actually using math resulting in a great teaching moment.
There are many ways to discover learning opportunities throughout the day, similar to the leaf hunt. This can be done any time of year, inside or outside. You can start with something as simple as lunchtime—counting carrots or comparing water in a glass or even start planning outdoor activities that involve counting or simple math skills. Children can play hopscotch every morning before free time to help them learn number skills and how to count.
The number of new learning opportunities is endless, it is just a matter of looking at activities differently. Rather than having children paint fish on a paper plate, ask them to paint fish with a certain number of bubbles. Ask them to count the number of seeds they draw in their fruit. Take every opportunity to help children use math skills daily. A learning environment that champions math skills gives children the opportunity to understand patterns, shapes, numbers, and develop solutions, and problem solve. There are many ideas online, but ask other teachers about ways they like to engage with children, they may have a solution that works well for your classroom.