Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math
- unit blocks
- small table blocks
- masking tape
- construction paper
- experience-chart paper
- large cardboard cutouts of basic shapes
- a variety of different-size and -shaped boxes.
Objective: Children will use problem-solving, creative-thinking, and fine-motor skills as they make discoveries about volume and area.
1 At circle time, talk about the cardboard shapes and help children name them. Then invite children to match objects in the room to those shapes. Brainstorm objects children may have seen elsewhere that are the same shapes.
2 Tape a few cardboard shapes to the floor and encourage children to cover them with different-- shaped unit blocks. Tell children that the idea of this game is to cover as much of the shape as possible without overlapping any blocks, leaving empty spaces, or letting any blocks hang over the edge. You could say: "It's like doing a puzzle with blocks as your puzzle pieces."
3 When all the shapes are full, talk about differences between the shapes and the blocks that are needed to fill them. Ask: "Which shape needs the most blocks to fill it? Let's count." Then put out a smaller set of table blocks and ask: "Do you think we will need more or fewer of these smaller blocks to fill the shapes?" Suggest that children test their predictions by playing the same game.
4 Another time put out the unit blocks, table blocks, and several different sizes and shapes of boxes. Invite children to use the bigger unit blocks and then the smaller table blocks to fill the boxes. Ask thoughtprovoking questions such as: "Do you think we will need more little blocks or big blocks to fill a box? Which box do you think will hold the most blocks?" Encourage children to carefully pack each box rather than randomly throwing the blocks in. Suggest they try to fill each box in a few different ways.
5 You may want to create an experience chart bl listing shape names in a column and recording next to them the objects children have seen.
Remember: It isn't necessary to use the terms "area" or "volume" with children. It's only important that they experience the concepts.
Science: Place ice cubes in two different-size cups. Ask children to describe what will happen to the ice now that it is no longer in the freezer. Ask them to predict how many ice cubes it will take to fill each cup with water. Record the predictions; then, begin the experiment. Compare the predictions with the actual number of ice cubes needed.