Our first math day in preschool

I recently shared with you our take-home math bags and after doing so, one of my readers asked if I would go ahead and show how we go about graphing our math tokens….

Let me begin by talking about the sharing process. The children take turns coming to the front of the room so they can take all the tokens out of their bags and share them with the rest of the class…

As each child takes a turn, he or she takes the items out of their bag and places them on the floor for everyone to see. Then the entire class counts along with the child the number of items he or she brought…

Once all the children has a turn to share the math tokens they brought from home, we put all the tokens in a basket so that the children can take a closer look at the tokens during center time. Before we go into sorting, patterning, grouping or all other types of math – we want to explore our math tokens first.

Now for the graphing part. We will take several approaches to graphing our math tokens throughout the year. Each child has their own math graph and keeps it in their math folder. “My Math Graph” has six columns. In the first column, I print the name of the math tokens brought by that specific child that day. In the five columns next to each token, the child then colors a square for each number of tokens that he or she brought that day. So if the child brought five seashells then the child colors in five squares next to the word “seashell.”  Each week, the child will continue adding to this graph. This graph is primarily used to introduce basic graphing skills…

Another graph we are just starting to use is a large group graph.  As the children count their objects, I place tally marks on this graph…



  1. Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

    I will share more about what we do with this – right now we are just building our collection of tokens (junk) :)

  2. Julie Locke says

    I love this idea and want to do it with my preschool class. How do you do the individual graphing if the child brings all different objects? Do you put the name of each object on a separate line?

    Thanks for such a great idea.

  3. Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

    Yes, I put each name of each type of object on its own line. As a general rule, my students bring all the same types of objects each day. I am not sure if this is how I told them to do it on the parent note or if this is just what the children started to do and have just kept it going.

  4. julie copeland says

    Can u send me an example of what you included in your note to parents to start the math bags?? I teach 4 and 5 yr olds and am very excited to start these!!