Our family is now just into term two of official homeschool. We are still very much learning how to structure our days together; how to balance that unschooling tendency, whilst managing my newbie doubts and love of Montessori and Mason. One thing I love to do with the kids is a “morning time" or “circle time", its a great way to come together and for me to guide some learning.
For a lot of people morning time will involve reading books together, reciting poetry or bible verses, music or art appreciation and maybe language. Mathematics being my pet thing to bring out of the textbook and into our everyday, I've been incorporating math into morning time, and you can too. During my recent interview with Pam Barnhill on Your Morning Basket, I realised some people might like a bit more help to bring math to morning time.
This post looks at bringing math to morning time in Kindergarten, arguably a good place to start right? In my house I have a nearly 6 year old, 3.5 year old and 10 month old baby. I try to do morning time when baby naps.
Math picture books
I like to include one math specific picture book in morning time. Sometimes we will do an activity leading out of the book, but often we just read it.
Check out my picture book list.
Even if we don't do a math specific book, I'll often ask a mathematical question in a "normal" picture book. For example, in The Tawny Scrawny Lion - "five sisters and four brothers... how many rabbits?" Or in The Gruffalo's Child "two eyes peered out of a tree top house.... two eyes, how many owls? What if there were 4 eyes?" (A mini version of my units if you will.)
We've really enjoyed this funny book "I am not a worm" by Scott Tulloch. Today I'm going to mix in some math with it. It takes about 4 weeks for a butterfly to form in it's chrysalis. How long could each picture represent? In weeks, in days? We'll be covering time measurement, division and problem solving 😄 when I first stumbled on this book in the library I thought it was a bit annoying and repetitive, but the last page literally made me laugh out loud! My kids think its hilarious plus the early reader has been decoding because of the repetitive nature of the words. Winner. . . . #mathinbooks #mathsinbooks #creativemath #scholasticbooks @scholastic_au
If things are going well, we also play a maths game or activity in morning time.
Recently we've been having tea parties with cuisinere rods. I choose a collection of rods to place in the middle and the kids share them equally between the plates.
If we've read Equal Schmequal we have drawn pictures of equal or played with our balance scales and toys at making equal.
I also love the idea shared with me by Josie (@onwillowsbend) to step in a circle counting upwards and then unwind by counting backwards. We are practicing this with some large numbers to step on. We are also going to use these numbers to step on to practice skip counting. You could do this as a lead into morning time or as a break to get some wiggles out!
But perhaps the favourite around here is a simple dice and hundred chart game. Simply roll the dice and colour, or cover with counters, that amount over squares until you reach 100 (we've also played with dominoes as above). Its great for noticing addition patterns and can lead to skip counting too, and yet it's simple enough for the 3 year old to join in too.
You can get more ideas in our charity Games for Good Booklet.
Art can be a simple way to bring some math into morning time too. Drawing mandalas, cutting snowflakes, Fibonacci inspired art, geometrical art, ratio or scaled drawings, equal colours pixel art, symmetry paintings, tesselation play and more!
Staring at this beauty by @growingwildthings for @wildandfree.co and thinking you could turn it into a fraction activity either by painting each stick into various fractions, OR by cutting the sticks as fractions (start with 1 stick as your "whole" length and then cut sticks a quarter, 3/4, 1/2, 1/3, 2/3 etc of the original "whole" length). #mathsiseverywhere 💕
Some of these are easy tasks to complete while listening to a read aloud. Or choose a math art activity for your art some weeks to mix things up.
To see more of our everyday maths ideas come see my instagram by clicking the instagram post above 😊