Weighing and exploring acorns in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on September 17, 2012

in Acorn Math, Exploring Acorns and Scales, Mathematics, Science and Nature

It seems we have more than our share of acorns on the ground around here so collecting and using acorns for math and other content areas in our classroom is a given…

 

We filled our alphabet jars with acorns this week then set them out for the children to explore. At this table, the children used their fine motor skills and tweezers to explore the acorns…

Each week, as the year progresses, the children will find something new in the alphabet jars – this week it was acorns…

As the children used tweezers to explore the acorns, I learned that the type of tweezer you choose to set out for any given activity needs to be carefully considered…

Some tweezers are better for small objects and some are better for larger objects.  I have several different types of tweezers and depending on what the activity is, I am finding that I often have to change out the type of tweezers so the process is more doable for the children…

Later in our morning, the children spent time weighing and counting and writing as they explored the acorns…

I set out a basket of acorns, scales, pencils, clipboards, and paper…

As the children played with the acorns and other supplies, we talked about how the scales have numbers on them and how the numbers on the scales go up or down depending on how heavy things are…

I also drew simple graphing type lines of some of our pieces of paper. The children used the graph paper to record “data” as they explored the acorns…

And the children sorted and counted acorns on the graph as well…

But the biggest part of this process was not the exploration of acorns but the exploration of scales. The children had to figure out how to get the cups or bowls to balance on each type of scale, how to read the numbers on the scales, what the scales do, how to make the scales go up or down, and all of this was done by letting the children freely manipulate and explore the acorns and scales and dropping by at times to answer questions or facilitate conversation…

The discovery table was a busy place all throughout our center time with children exploring and examining the materials they were given to use…

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