Let’s make a pattern!

Each week, I set up an invitation to explore some kind of math process at the math table. It can be anything from a pretend apple market to sorting buttons, to building with blocks. An invitation to explore math might be connected to a story we are reading while others might be connected to other topics the children and I have been discussing. Today’s invitation to make a simple pattern was connected to our recent exploration of circles…

Let's make a pattern!

I don’t know if you love bottle caps and lids as much as I do but I never, ever throw one away. I love the bright colors and the possible ways I can use them in my classroom for math, art, story telling, and more. I am such an avid lid collector that my whole family has become bottle cap and lid collectors too…

Let's make a pattern!

A couple of hints about collecting lids…

  1. Do run all bottle caps and lids through a dishwasher. I toss them in the silverware basket and wash them. I noticed if you wash them by hand or even rinse them, chances are you will miss some of the juice, milk, or other that hides in the rims of the lids and that shows up after time. A good hot dishwasher washing is a must do!
  2. Do use them for playing games, as counting tokens in your math center, for art in the art center, for play in the water table, and even for coins in a pretend store.  I like relating the classroom to everyday items the children have at home so there is a home/school connection.
  3. If you have students who want to put them in their mouths, then lids probably aren’t right for those students at this time without lots of monitoring from you.

Let's make a pattern!

At our math table, the children were invited to explore the process of making simple AB patterns with their lids. Some children were ready for more complex patterns while some needed to stick with a simple pattern. First the children lined up the lids into a pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

Then it was time to check over the pattern and see if any adjustments needed made…

Let's make a pattern!

If satisfied with their pattern, then it was time to draw their pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

As you can see, the children had LOTS of colorful lids to choose from…

Let's make a pattern!

After drawing their patterns, the children were invited to set the lids back in the center of the table and take their drawings home with them. Now the table was ready for someone else to stop by and take a turn!

Let's make a pattern!

Links to Grow On…

Creating with Lids in Preschool!

Learning with Lids in Preschool!

By | September 18th, 2016|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

Designing with Qtips on the math table

I love offering the children everyday, simple things, like Qtips, to design and create with. I always hope that by supplying the children common household products, they might even be inspired to try the activities at home.

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

On our math table, we supplied the children with a bunch of colorful Qtips that I purchased at The Dollar Tree. I drew boxes using a chalk paint marker on the table so the children would be encouraged to create their own designs and could come back to them later as they wished…

Qtip Designs2049

As we often do with our math table, the children spend the first day exploring the process any way they wish so I can observe what they think they might do with the materials or understand about creating designs…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

If the children already seem to have a good idea of what the intention is, then I just continue with their ideas throughout the week. But if the children seem to be lost on what the intention was, then by the second day, I offer up suggestions or prompts to steer them in the direction I would like to see them try or consider…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

One of my intentions for this particular process was to get the children to slow down and think more about their chosen designs. The children have been designing in some fashion or another all year long but they tend to “draw pictures” more than just focus on color, patterning, or designing…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

I stopped by the table every once in awhile and simply begin creating my own design. Sometimes I leave a design unfinished while other times I complete it. I talk with the children as I am designing about how I am using this color here or adding that line there…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

Some of the children are inspired to try their own designs while others still prefer to create more of a picture. I’m not concerned or all hung up on the children copying what I do. I am simply offering up ideas to inspire them…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

All throughout the week, the children explored the process of designing with Qtips on the math table. As they did, I would overhear conversations about what they were doing or making. The children love to talk a lot at the math table…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

One of my favorite things about the math table is that the process isn’t focused on making something to take home. You know, like gluing the Qtips to a piece of paper (although I like that at times too). Instead it is all about exploring and manipulating the materials. Because nothing is permanent, the children will keep coming back to design. They may add to a previous design or start over and create something entirely new. But the repetition gives them more confidence and helps them master the process that they are striving for…

Designing with Qtips by Teach Preschool

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Links to Grow On

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

6 Ways to Encourage Writing in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Cotton Swab Letter Painting by The-Stay-At-Home-Mom-Survival-Guide

By | April 1st, 2016|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Popsicle patterns, lines, and designs in preschool

In my previous post, I shared with you our popsicle water color paint and today I want to share with you our exploration of popsicle patterns, lines, and designs in our preschool classroom…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

This was a simple process that the children explored. To set it up, I used crayons to draw simple patterns, lines, and designs on squares of paper. The colors I used were the same as the colors of popsicle sticks…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

On the table, the children found the popsicle sticks (sorted by color) and the paper cards already out and ready for them to explore our simple game…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

The children picked a paper card and then used the card as a guide to make a pattern, line, or design…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

Some of the designs took up a whole table so we had to move things around here and there throughout the process to make room…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

As each child completed one pattern, they sorted their popsicle sticks back into the basket and then picked a new card to make a new pattern, line, or design…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

As the children explored the process, some of them figured out how to combine the cards to create their own patterns, lines, or designs and some of them chose to come up with their own patterns, lines, and designs without the cards…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

The process was simple to put together and was a fun way to promote conversation about shapes, lines, and designs as the children explored the process…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

I drew up a few cards with basic shapes such as a square or triangle as well as a few letters like an upper case A, F, and E…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

I also drew up cards with simple patterns or designs that could be built out of straight lines…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

Lots of fun listening to the children try and describe the designs on the cards. I got a chuckle out of the children as they used this card and debated what it could be. I didn’t have anything in mind when I drew it. I was just thinking designs with lines but the children decided it was a bow on a kite string…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

Super simple process that promoted mathematical thinking and vocabulary along the way…

Popsicle Patterns, lines and designs by Teach Preschool

 

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By | May 16th, 2014|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Patterning with hugs and kisses

We recently highlighted the letter Kk and since Valentine’s day is coming soon, we thought it would be fun to sneak in the letter K and Valentine’s day with a few hugs and KISSES…

Patterning with hugs and kisses by Teach Preschool

To start off our day filled with hugs and kisses, we read the hilarious book “Dinosaur Kisses” by David Ezra Stein…

Hugs and Kisses Tic Tac Toe by Teach Preschool

“Dinosaur Kisses” is about a little dinosaur who sets out on a journey to learn how to properly kiss someone.  Only he gets it all wrong. He chomps, stomps, butts heads, and even eats someone when he tries to give a kiss. In the end, he makes a friend that is just like him and decides his version of kissing is more fun…

Hugs and Kisses Tic Tac Toe by Teach Preschool

We used this book as a segue into our discussion on hugs and kisses or “X’s” and “O’s” with our pre-k children.  Deborah found this great set of hugs and kisses table scatter at Target or Wal-Mart a few years ago.  But this activity could easily be done with cereal, beads, or pasta of some sort.  Surprisingly, most of our children already knew that X’s and O’s commonly stand for hugs and kisses. But for those who didn’t, we did explain that O’s stand for hugs and X’s stand for kisses.  We brought out our X’s and O’s, along with our small felt boards to explore some patterns.  Each child got their own felt board and a small pile of X’s and O’s.  First the children sorted the X’s and O’x into two piles…

Hugs and Kisses Tic Tac Toe by Teach Preschool

Then each child counted up the number of X’s and O’s that they had in each pile.  We compared which of their piles had more or less.  And we talked about which child had the most or the least…

Patterning with hugs and kisses by Teach Preschool

The children then went to work on creating a pattern with their X’s and O’s…

Hugs and Kisses Tic Tac Toe by Teach Preschool

When working as a class on something like patterns, we always take time to go around the room so that we can listen to everyone’s patterns…

Hugs and Kisses Tic Tac Toe by Teach Preschool

We always start out with a simple AB pattern, or in this case, XO pattern and work our way up to something more challenging.  This was such a fun way to talk about hugs and kisses!  And in the end, we all agreed that these hugs and kisses were MUCH better than dinosaur kisses…

Patterning with hugs and kisses by Teach Preschool

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Holiday gift tag patterns

One of many fun finds during the Christmas season are bright and beautiful gift tags. I collected a few different sets and then set them out as an invitation to make simple patterns on our home made pattern board…

Holiday Gift Tag Patterns by Teach Preschool

To make the pattern board, I added 3M hooks to a long piece of heavy white cardboard. The pattern board can be used for any season or theme and with anything that has a hole large enough to slip through the small hooks on the board or anything that has a ribbon attached…

Holiday Gift Tag Patterns by Teach Preschool

I taped my boards to an empty space on my walls to give my students an extra thing to stop by and try throughout the day…

Holiday Gift Tag Patterns by Teach Preschool

Some of my students preferred to work alone making a pattern while others liked to work with a friend…

Holiday Gift Tag Patterns by Teach Preschool

The boards can be used for other kinds of games too and are a nice way to add a little extra something to explore or think about around the classroom…

Holiday Gift Tag Patterns by Teach Preschool

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By | December 14th, 2013|Categories: Christmas, DIY, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Simple domino math for preschoolers

Dominoes can supply an endless array of fun activities in the preschool classroom and our simple domino math is one of several activities I would like to share with you…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

Of course, dominoes naturally leads to many types of mathematical concepts. We began our day by exploring patterns with black and white dominoes during circletime…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

While making simple AB or black/white patterns, I noticed my Pre-K students stopping to count the dots on their dominoes and many of my students would even stop to add the dots on both ends of the dominoes…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

After the children spent a little time exploring domino patterning with me in circle time, they were sent off to explore our other centers for the morning. One of those centers was a different kind of domino math activity…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

At the table the children found a basket of dominoes, white lids, and large blank dominoes made out of foam board with a strip of tape down the middle…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

To play the game, the children picked a domino out of the basket and then used it as a model for counting out lids and putting them on the cardboard domino…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

As the children counted and sorted lids on to their cardboard dominoes, I took a few minutes to draw their attention to how the dots on each domino were positioned in a specific pattern which helps us know by just looking at the domino how many dots are on each side…

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

A quick and easy way of promoting simple math skills in my pre-k class!

Simple Domino Math for Preschoolers by Teach Preschool

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By | September 27th, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Making simple crayon patterns in preschool

Our Pre-k students explored the process of making simple patterns using crayons and a strip of paper…

Making simple crayon patterns by Teach Preschool

As part of our exploration of the tools we use in preschool, we spent a few minutes exploring the process of making simple crayon patterns with our pre-k age students…

Making simple crayon patterns by Teach Preschool

Each child was given a sentence strip and then invited to select two colors of crayons they wanted to work with. Before the children began, I demonstrated the process of using the two colors to make a simple AB pattern of verticle lines on the sentence strip…

Crayon Day 052

The children then went to work making their own AB line patterns…

Making simple crayon patterns by Teach Preschool

While the children worked, Mr. Hayden and I observed and found that my prek students easily understood the concept of an AB pattern and as each child finished their patterns, they brought them over and held them up so I could read aloud their pattern (red-blue) and use my hands to “clap-tap” their pattern out with them…

Making simple crayon patterns by Teach Preschool

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By | September 7th, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

DIY Kleenex box (math) games

If you have been saving kleenex boxes but don’t know what to do with them, then here is a simple idea for turning those boxes into games for color sorting, counting, patterning, and anything else you can think of…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

To prepare one kleenex box, simply attach an envelope to each side of the box. I used self-adhesive library pockets found at our local school supply store. They fit perfectly and keep the opening sitting upright…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

For each pocket, I cut a sentence strip down to fit by length (the width already fit) and printed words on the sentence strips for the children to begin familiarizing themselves with. Some of my students already recognized many of their color or number words and others didn’t. Where I needed to add symbols next to the words, I added them…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

Throughout our school year, we collect “math tokens” which are really just odds and ends the children collect from home to bring for our math time each week. As the year progresses, we collect quite a few math tokens so on different occasions, I sort the math tokens into our Kleenex boxes. How the math tokens are sorted depends on which words we are using to go with the tokens…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

For simple counting and number word recognition, the children pull out the number words in the pockets of their Kleenex pockets and then reach in the box to pull out math tokens to count out the number of tokens represented on each card…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

I made enough “Math Boxes” for each child to have one of their own and the children are encouraged to swap the boxes around with each other to see if they can find new number cards and new math tokens to explore…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

Each math box has a different variety of math tokens inside which the children find interesting to examine and since the tokens all come from home, the children enjoy finding something familiar too…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

After math time is over, the children scoop up all the math tokens and put them back in our boxes and I save the boxes for a new type of sorting, graphing, patterning, or other math skill…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

We have also used the boxes for tracing and drawing…

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

Math box color sorting…

Math box color sorting

Math box color word sorting…

Math box color word sorting

Lots of possibilities so start saving those Kleenex boxes!

DIY Kleenex Box Games by Teach Preschool

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Links to grow on

Our take home math bags by Teach Preschool

Simple math graphing by Teach Preschool

More ideas for Math on Pinterest

By | June 8th, 2013|Categories: DIY, Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , , , , |9 Comments

Patterning a garden

Spring is finally here!  And though our weather outside may not yet reflect it, warmer weather is on its way.  With warmer weather brings planting seeds and tending to gardens.  We created colorful patterns in our gardens…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

Our gardens were made out of just a few materials that we had around the classroom.  Our foam square “flowers” were leftover from our four seasons on the sticky table activity that we shared with you yesterday.  You’ll also need paper, crayons, and glue for this activity…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

By this time in the school year our children are very familiar with patterning.  It seems as if we can turn just about any set of items into a pattern.  During this activity, most of our children started out making a simple AB pattern, alternating one color then another…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

Once the children finished their patterns, they called either Deborah or I over so they could share their creation with us.  Deborah and I listened intently as the children recited their patterns to us.  Some of our children are ready to move on to more difficult patterns such as ABB, AABB, or ABC patterns.  We encourage those children that are ready to give us a more challenging pattern.  For the children that didn’t quite have a true AB pattern, we worked with them to create one…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

I’ve discovered that some children who make their own version of a pattern may truly have an understanding of how patterns work, but are simply bored with AB patterns.  When I see this happening, I simply encourage the child to try a more difficult pattern.  Sometimes the pattern they choose to create is also just a natural reflection of the child’s creativity…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

After the children finished their patterns, they turned them into a flower garden.  The green crayons were used to create the stems of the flowers…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

The children then glued on their square “flowers.”  Some chose to keep their patterns in place, while others decided to add all of the colors to their gardens…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

This little guy mentioned that his garden was for his mommy and that it was all roses and one dandelion…

Patterning a Garden by Teach Preschool

This fun, hands-on math activity has me thinking about patterning in my own flower garden.  Now if only the weather would cooperate…

Patterning a garden by Teach Preschool

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Links to grow on:

Making apple patterns in preschool by Teach Preschool 

Pattern towers for preschoolers by Frugal Fun for Boys

Pattern lesson by No Time for Flashcards

By | March 22nd, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

Patterning with partners and lids

Patterning is not a new concept for our children.  It is a process that we have been exploring throughout the school year, so our children were very familiar with the process of patterning before we introduced this activity.  However, patterning with partners is a relatively new process for our current students…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

For this patterning activity, we used many, many plastic lids of various colors and sizes.  We invited the children to sit at the tables and whoever they happened to be sitting next to became their partner in this patterning process.  We gave each pair of children a long sentence strip.  Any long strip of paper will work.  Just be sure it is long enough to make a nice sized pattern, because once the children get the hang of patterning, they will want to keep on going as long as possible…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

Deborah encouraged the children to listen and work cooperatively with their partners to create their patterns.  The children began this process excitedly by quickly lining up lids to fill their sentence strips.  Many of the partners truly had beautiful rows of lids, but no real patterns just yet…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

Deborah and I then began going around the room, working with each set of partners.  We would tell them, “I see you have a very colorful row of lids here.  Do you think we can make a pattern out of it?”  We would then start at the beginning of their row and address the first two lids.  We would point out the colors of those first two lids and say, “I see you have an orange lid and then a red lid.  What color should come next?”  In working with each pair of children, we were encouraging them to take their time to better understand the concept…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

There were moments when our young partners found the process frustrating,  Deborah and I showed the partners how to ask their partner which lid could come next.  We also showed them how they could share their space on the sentence strip or they could create separate rows.  Soon they were all working together to create patterns out of their lids…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

When children work cooperatively, they help to shape each other’s understanding…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

A simple activity like patterning with lids becomes more meaningful because the children are working with their friends toward a common goal.  The results are a thing of beauty…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

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Links to grow on: 

Post-it note patterns by Little Preschool on the Prairie

Patterns with shapes and colors by Crayon Freckles

Making apple patterns in preschool by Teach Preschool

 

By | February 3rd, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments