### Count With a Buddy

Focus skill: Counting

How to teach it: We all know that counting is not as simple as it seewms. Next time you practice, enlist older students to pair up with your little ones and go on a school “counting walk.” The older children can point out bricks in the wall, tiles on the floor, art on bulletin boards, students in a classroom, books on a shelf, pencils in a cup, numbers on a clock, mailboxes in the office, or cars in the parking lot. The younger kids should mark what they find using a recording sheet and clipboard. Invite the older students back from time to time for more counting fun!

### Measure the Principal

Focus skill: Measurement

How to teach it: Bring whimsy to your measurement lessons by including your principal. Have him or her begin by reading Measuring Penny, by Loreen Leedy. Then discuss how the dog in the book was measured using biscuits instead of a ruler or measuring tape. Here’s the fun part: Invite students to come up with different units they could use to measure the principal. Have several nonstandard items on hand, such as straws, clothespins, or building blocks. Let the students decide how to attack this problem, but help them see that it might be easier to trace the principal’s shape onto a piece of butcher paper first. Display the butcher paper and measurements in the hallway with the title “Our Principal Measures Up!”

### Make Snack Patterns

Focus skill: Patterns

How to teach it: To reinforce the concept of patterns, invite kids to make AB patterns with nutritious snacks. Provide raisins, granola, sesame seeds, and small crackers on a paper plate. Create an AB pattern in two different colors on the board. Ask students to copy your pattern using two of the items on their plates. Next, challenge pairs of students to create AB patterns of their own. Students should then trade seats and extend their partners’ patterns. To finish the activity, give each student a cream cheese–filled celery stick. Ask them to create a new AB pattern on the stick, then evaluate their work before it disappears!