Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math & Literacy
- Bookmaking materials, including oak tag paper, glue sticks, hole punch, and small binder rings or stapler
- Fine-line markers
- Objects that are similar but vary in size from smallest to largest, including dolls, wooden chairs, cups, blocks, bowls, teddy bears, and other items that children can organize by size
Invite children to sit in a circle and show them three or more items that vary in size. Invite them to organize the objects from smallest to biggest. Then, suggest they rearrange the items from biggest to smallest. Bring several children who vary in height to the center of the circle. Ask another child to organize the children in the circle by height.
Give each child a set of objects and ask her to arrange them in size order. Invite them to show their objects to the group and count them. Take photographs of children with their objects.
Invite children to reverse the size order of their objects. Take another photograph. Ask children to place all of the objects in the center of the floor. Suggest that they sort all of the objects into separate piles by size. Then, invite children to organize each group into size order. Take another photograph of each new grouping.
Work with children to make a math book using their photographs. Glue the photos onto oak tag paper and invite each child to write or dictate information below his photos. Ask children to think of a title and design a book cover before binding the pages together. Add the book to your math library.
Remember: Teaching children new words to describe and compare objects not only increases their vocabulary, but enables them to develop important math and science skills.
Home Size: Send a note home explaining that children are learning about size order. Ask parents to provide their children with opportunities to organize materials by size in their homes. Offer suggestions for items to organize, including articles of clothing, eating and cooking utensils, envelopes, books, and containers.
Size Scavenger Hunt: Bring children together to go on a scavenger hunt to find things in their classroom that are the tallest, the smallest, the longest, the shortest, the lightest, the heaviest, the warmest, the coldest, the softest, the hardest, the quietest, and the loudest. Record each item on a sheet of chart paper. Invite children to make drawings about the items they identified.
Big and Little by Samantha Berger (Scholastic, 1998)
Harold and the Purple Crayon: Opposites by Jodi Huelin (HarperCollins, 2004)
My Opposites/Mis Opuestos by Rebecca Emberly (Little, Brown, 2000)