Wednesday, September 5, 2012
1, 2, 7, 9, 13, 4, 10!
Dear My Toy Garden friends,
Pssst....School is starting soon. Sorry. I have a little girl about to start Kindergarten so I understand more how heavy that calendar page is to turn. Turn it we must and with it our thoughts begin to turn to the reading, 'ritin and 'rithmatic that comes with back to school. What area(s) does your learner excel in? Which do they find more challenging? There are lots of easy way you can weave all academic areas into everyday life that will boost your child's confidence and make learning fun! Below are a few ideas I've shared with families during my 17 years as a classroom teacher on how to make math click! What other ideas do you have to add? Please add your ideas to our Facebook back by clicking [here!](http://www.facebook.com/mytoygarden)
1. Estimate and Count - How many cracks do you think are in the sidewalk between here and the road? How many crayons do you think are in that bucket? How many cars do you think we'll pass on the way to the grocery store? Estimate and then count to see how close your guess is. This builds a strong number sense for children. When you can invite them to count by 2's, 5's or 10's.
2. Finger Flash - Another way to develop number sense for preschool/Kind age children, is flash your fingers showing a number and invite your child to see how fast they can tell you how may there are. Ask to them to tell you how they know. For example, hold up 5 on one hand and 3 on the other. They shout, 8! and perhaps explain that they saw 5 and then counted 6, 7, 8. Or maybe they saw 2 fingers down and knew it was 8 because they counted backwards from 10, 9, 8. This should move them beyond counting 1 by 1 to grouping numbers and adding on. Knowing more than one way to tackle a problem is a powerful thing!
3. Clock - Best way to teach a child how to tell time is to have a real clock...the old fashioned one with actual hands that tick tock their way around the face marking off each second, minute and hour. With all digital clocks around you, it's challenging to understand the concepts of time.
4. Carry Cash - Same is true with money. When children always see a magic piece of plastic that when it gets swiped through a box and they get handed something, it's hard to develop money concepts. Carry cash yourself for small purchases and have your child help you determine if you have enough, what your change should be, counting coins. Give them an allowance of their own and teach them to spend, save and earn. My Toy Garden's Moonjars are a very popular item for this reason!
5. Play Games - A few dice from our giant bowl of dice gives you lots of math games literally at your fingertips! We have a whole math section of games including Flip 4, Sequence Numbers, and Loose Change. One of the top sellers is the Learning Wrap Ups pictured below. Pocket sized math fun that encourages children to quickly wrap the string around matching up facts and then self checking with the raised lines on the back to build confidence. I had these in my classroom for many years and loved them!!
It won't be long until those new school routines are up and going. My Toy Garden is to help you along the way!