Stop and Notice How the Day is Changing

Sunfortimeofdaywebsite

What is day? What is morning? What is afternoon? What is evening? What is night? What is dawn?  There is a cycle that is being repeated by nature every time the sun comes up and goes down and the moon joins in at night.  Your baby, or itty bitty one can listen to you as you describe the day or night.  It is about being deliberate about what we already know about the parts of the day and to say it out loud so that our child can listen and observe.  Just like we sometimes point out that this is a yellow banana and the grass is green, and the sky is blue, so do we need to point out change in the day to our child.

Once your child is old enough to notice the clock or begin to talk, start talking about what time it is during the day.  When you are waiting to go out of the house to run an errand, or go visit someone, let your child know what time it is that all of you or both of you will be leaving?  Either write down the time and have it next to the digital clock, or have their toy clock set to the time of departure and have it near the analog clock.  Start talking about what time it is when it is breakfast time, lunch time, nap time, getting ready for bedtime, and time to go to sleep.  This routine you have set for them is associated with the time of day.  Beginning to point out what time opens the child’s world to taking note to time.

This piece of time is not about learning how to tell time by reading a clock, but the beginnings of doing so.  To learn about something, it is better to have a purpose or meaning connected to it.  By beginning the phases of time for day, you are establishing meaning.  The child will begin to notice that the sun is rising or setting.  The child can see that the moon is there in the sky at night.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Saturday and Sunday for Go outside and Explore it).

This is a bit of a stretch, but to really understand what is day, what is night, what is morning, and so forth, the baby needs to see it outside.

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Numbers
  2. Saturday and Sunday for Go Outside and Explore It.  The child must know what day, night, morning, afternoon, evening, and night look like.  Go out and see the sunset or the stars!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

  1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
  2. Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting and sequence)
  3. Every day for Play Time.  Go see the stars and the moon, the sun and the sunsets!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

Something to Think About:

For this activity, it really is simple to do that does not take any toy or APP to teach.  It really does not take the necessity of buying something extra to teach as well.  It simply takes mindfulness in pointing things out to our child that we may normally take for granted.  When it is time to eat, say what time it is every time.  When it is time to take a nap, what time is it?  When your child wakes up, what time is it and do we say “good morning”?  What time is it to go to bed?  All of these things we normally do not say out loud because we take for granted of what we already know.

With so much going on in our lives and during the day, it is easy to let the day pass without knowing where the time went.  For you and your child, this is a time to stop and be mindful of the time of the day and time you have with each other.  Sometimes taking a moment to pause and notice the change of position of the sun in the sky or the different phases of the moon can really teach your child to be in the moment and paying attention to details.  I truly have been taken things for granted about paying attention to change and to details because things sometimes feel like a blur or rushed during the day.  It is refreshing to point these things out to my kids an just pay attention to the little moments, the subtle changes of the day, and the time it takes for the moon and stars to change the look or position in the sky.  This is a way to become more mindful of things and learn math.

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

What Does 30 Seconds Feel Like?

timephotoofclock

As my first child was getting to understand when Mommy was stepping away (really to go use the bathroom) and did not know where I was going, he would start to cry.  For some reason or another, I started talking to him and telling him where I was going and to give me 30 seconds.  I would then start counting, mainly for him to still hear my voice.  Did this help him quiet down from the start? ….No, but overtime, I would continue doing this until he was comfortable with the fact that mommy was coming back.  Surprisingly, my phrase of “give me 30 seconds” is still something I use now that my oldest is 4, my second is 3, and my third is 3 months old.

Today, I began thinking that this gave my kids a sense of what seconds felt like.  To offer a perspective, 30 seconds to adults seems to go by fairly quickly.  However, to a small child/toddler, this could take forever.  Our sense of time progresses as we have more of a sense of what it really feels like.

As two little ones grew up from infants to toddlers to preschoolers, there now is a sense of what 1 minute actually feels like.  As my children were able to count to 30 and now to maybe 60 without help, they can understand what 60 seconds feels like by counting to that number.  Then have it explained that counting to 60 is 1 minute.  As they will get older and able to count further, they will get a sense of what 5 minutes, or longer feels like.

If you have itty-bitty ones, 5 or 10 seconds seems to be a bit much, but it is a start.  Have your itty-bitty sit there with you as you both whisper-count to 5 or 10.  This might even be more therapeutic for you since sometimes we do not get even five seconds of quiet time during the day. J Then try extending this to 15 to 20 seconds and then progress to 30 seconds.  Doing this with my four-year old is a treat since he is just a bundle of movement and sometimes doesn’t keep still in the afternoon.  It is nice to tell him to sit on my lap and I hug him whisper counting for 10 seconds or 15 to 20 seconds.  It really gives me a chance to show each of my children some overdue attention for the day.  🙂

The same goes for counting to 60, or even closing eyes for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then up to 5 minutes.  I am actually not there yet, but for those of us who have older children this could be a way for them to take a moment of some quiet time for themselves.

In a nutshell, practicing with your child of what time feels like, will help them develop an idea of time.  We see time pass by with clocks and we know what time it is by looking at our phones, or watch.  We even know that time has passed by looking at how the day has changed outside.  These are good things to point out to your young child.  Along with that, it is also essential to have a sense of it by feeling it as well.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Wednesday for Counting

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Numbers

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

  1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
  2. Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting)

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

Something To Think About:

This is one of those math lessons, if you will, that really gets you and your child to just sit there and give a hug for 1 minute, a hug for 30 seconds, and frankly mommy and child time that is actually kind of quiet (with a few extra giggles).  Before I began typing this out, I really had to reflect on other times that I used time as a form of counting down, or waiting for something to happen.  I have been known to tell my kids that they have five more minutes until lights out for bed time.  At other times, they are told to hold on for a minute or wait a minute as I am able to finish the dishes or put the washed clothes in the dryer.  The afterthought is really about sensing time as it is and not always as a countdown, or anticipation of something else.  As a second thought to share, I am not trying to make time with your children, or even my time with my children a timed activity.  For this math lesson, it is about taking a pause to be in the moment with your child as this will also remind me to take those moments when I can. 🙂

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

Resources for Moms Who Want to Know Learning Milestones for Mathematics

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

For this blog, I would like to thank my sister for inspiring me as she has wanted to look more into what milestones my nephew should be achieving, as well as my kids.  As you have read each blog posting, there is always a “Something to Think About” section that I say over and over again to not worry about how quickly or not so quickly your child is learning the mathematics at this time.  On a related note, there are milestones that some experts and organizations share out to parents that children should be achieving. 

To give all our parents another resource, here are a few websites to help you get started in thinking and understanding what these milestones might be for your child.  As a mother, I always listen to my motherly instinct, as should you.  If you feel deep down inside that there is a learning or developmental milestone that you think your child should be achieving and has not, please bring this up to your pediatrician or child’s teacher.  The sooner you help your child get a head start, the easier this might help your child.  Please remember that I am a mother offering a few resources that might get you started and on your way. 

 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention “Learn the Signs. Act Early”

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/concerned.html

Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Milestone Checklist

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

PBS.ORG/Parents “Baby & Toddler Math Milestones”

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/math/milestones/baby-toddler/

PBS.ORG “Math Resources from PBS”

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/_files/pdf/PBS_Math_resources.pdf

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

Letters and Numbers in One Morning

ABCblocks

After a few birthday parties, between my oldest and second oldest son, they accumulated about 3 sets of wooden blocks.  Of course they loved stacking them up and making buildings, but I wanted to figure out what I could do with them to teach about literacy and numeracy.  If you ever wondered what you can do with all those wooden blocks, here is something my second oldest and I did together.

At this moment in his life, he was a few months older than two years of age.  With my little learner, it was difficult to keep his attention when he knew mom was about to start a lesson.  He was the child that usually ran away when I said it was time for story time.  However, this really was something he found fun and it was building something, per say.

Together, we sang the alphabet and searched through the two buckets of blocks to create one row of the alphabet.  Then either he or I picked a wooden block from either of the two buckets and asked him what letter it was and what sound it made.  Then I asked him to match it to the letter on our alphabet row.  We continued to do this until we made the model below.  The numeracy part came afterward.

ABCblocks1

Starting with the letter A, I asked him to count how many “A”s there were.  This continued on until we went all the way to the letter Z.  Considering that hindsight is 20/20, what we could have done was write the letters in one column and the quantity of each letter block in another column.  So, this is something  to do if you have time and enough of an attention span from your little one.  This could be something to do after taking a break to do something else and coming back to chart it.

Do you need 2 to 3 sets of wooden alphabet blocks to do this lesson?  The answer is no. I’m sure you can go to the dollar store and get 3 or 4 sets of alphabet cards for three to four dollars total.  You might have so many of these flashcards and lost a few here and there and wondered what you can do with them now.  This lesson would be perfect!

If your child has lots of toys, or lots of little toys, then take some pieces of paper and write each letter of the alphabet.  Put those pieces of paper in order together.  Then model in front of your child for the first few toys.  For example, take that car and overly enunciate the first letter C.  Ask your child what letter does this car start with.  Then place the car under the letter C.  Repeat this until you have at least three to four toys under each letter.  Remember, not every letter needs to have three to four toys associated with it.   The idea is to recreate the second picture above.

For those of you who are wondering why the second picture looks a little familiar from your days in middle school or high school, this is because this is a physical graph collecting the graphs.  This particular graph could be called a line plot or a bar graph of sorts.  If you have a family of children with different ages, you can extend this to your older kids when learning or reviewing about graphs.  An extension to this is calculating the percentage of As, Bs, etc. This data can be displayed in a circle graph/pie graph, tally chart, or frequency chart.  This area would be a piece of data and statistics.  Now you have a lesson for your little ittie bitties and your older ones.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 0-18 months of age? 

Answer: 

  1. Mondays on “ABCs”
  2. Wednesday on Numbers (Counting)

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

 

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

Answer:

  1. Tuesday on Numbers
  2. Wednesday on Sorting

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

 

Something To Think About:

For something so simple as wooden blocks, or using flashcards and toys, you as an educator to your child can develop their sense of letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and numeracy skills.  This is something that can be used for families who have children from 18 months to middle school.  If your older child is reluctant for his/her parent to teach a math lesson, maybe he or she can teach the younger brother or sister.  This is a character building exercise as well as trying to persuade your older child to learn at home and to change the thinking that learning doesn’t stop in the classroom.

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math, literacy, and art should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much.  I will say this over and over again because it is that important to know that you are doing a great job!

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

Let’s Count to Ten!

Howmanyhands

The boys were both sick and cooped up in the house. At this moment, the boys are 3 and 2 years of age.  It was a crazy afternoon and wanted them to refocus their minds on something else.  I had a stack of ten foam hands that I used with my youngest to help teach him his colors and counting.  I took out the stack, told the boys to close their eyes as I hid the hands in different places around the house.  Just like doing an egg hunt, we were searching for these foam hands.

Once it was time for the boys to start their search of the hands, I got their chalkboard easel and made three columns.  The first column is one boy’s name, the second column is the other boy’s name, and the third column is the total number of hands.  Since I am not sharing my sons’ names, here is a sample of what that looked like.

tableforhowmanyhands 

The first search for hands, one found seven and the other found three.  They both were asked to put their finds in one pile so that we could count how many total hands we found.  Then the total was written under the third column.  For the second search, one son found six and the other son found four.  Again, they placed all the hands in one pile to count the total number of foam hands.  The third and fourth search results were exactly those numbers as you see above.  I was ecstatic for us to have a result where one found five and so did the other.  The whole point was to show different sum combinations of ten.  Although the equation and actual sums were not on the board, I wanted them to experience the different sum combinations and see it in numbers and in objects.

What if you wanted to show the equations?  Here is what it could look like:

tableforhowmanystars

Before anyone makes any comments on how this table was organized, please be aware that we are dealing with a two year old and three year old, maybe a little older.  When working with older children, here is a suggestion as to how to label the columns for this table:

Searching for 10 Stars

Number of Stars found by first child

Number of Stars found by second child

Total number of stars found from both children

Equation to show the Sum of Stars

6 4 10 6+4=10
2 8 10 2+8=10
3 7 10 3+7=10
1 9 10 1+9=10

For some of us who have several children of different ages, this entire activity can be done with a two year old child up to six to seven years of age, roughly.  It is just a matter of how you have the child chart up the results.  The six to seven year old child should be able to write equations like this.  If not, this is an opportunity to try this out!

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

Answer:

Tuesday for Math under Numbers.

For those of us who want to understand exactly where stands for mathematics, this specifically focuses on counting, quantity, combinations of tens, making tables, and writing out equations to describe the given sums.  In all this, the activity only took about 15 to 20 minutes of fun 🙂

Schedule of Activities 18 months to 3 years of age

Something to Think About:

If you also would like to make this a little harder, get more hands or stars.  If you would like to make it easier, use less.  Other objects that you can use around the house could be:

  • Blocks
  • Matchbox cars
  • Dolls
  • Bows
  • Dinosaur toys
  • Buttons (only if these are not a choking hazard of course)
  • Apples/Oranges/Lemons
  • Just about anything that you have more than five of, you can use for this activity.

Before working on ten of something, make sure that your child knows how to count ten of anything.  If the table is a little much at this time, then just do the search and count how many you have in total; start there.  The fact that you are doing this is of great importance.  Trying things out with your child will help you understand how your child thinks and learns.  Remember again and again, it is not who goes to the finish line first, it is more important that you actually get there, eventually.  Just be your child’s best and greatest cheerleader and make it fun!

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

Color, More Color, and Sneak in a 3

colorlessonone

This was a short lesson that I did not do with my oldest, but with my second child.  At that time, he was 18 months to 2 years old.  The focus was to teach him how to name and identify his colors, but it turned out to be a double lesson on the quantity of 3.  I had done other learning explorations on color before with him.  This in particular was something to check to see if he actually could identify the colors now.

On the whiteboard, I wrote the names of the colors in their own colors because I had the luxury of having different colored whiteboard markers.  You can easily do this with crayons and white paper, or chalk on a chalkboard.  Something that would be really fun is to use window markers or dry erase markers on your window, or sliding door.  🙂

I happened to have a plastic connecting inch worm that had the colors I wanted to focus on.  Each color had 3 segments and so I pulled those apart and placed them on the rug.  I grabbed an inch segment and asked my child if this was orange, purple, blue, green, brown, yellow, or red.  Using blue painter’s tape, I tape the segment by the appropriate word of that color.  Then I asked my child what color the next one was until I had at least one segment for each color, except the brown, which I will explain later.  Once each color, except for brown, had a matching segment, I picked up another colored segment from the rug and asked him what color it was.  Then I asked him to match it to the one on the whiteboard and taped it up there once he got it.  Getting back to the color brown, my plastic inch worm did not have brown segments, so I took a happy meal prize that was in the bucket of toys and asked him what color this one was.  It was of course brown and so that was taped beside the corresponding word.  So this is a good example that you don’t need to go out and buy a plastic inch worm, you can use toys that are already in your house.

After everything was taped on the whiteboard, I made another column to place the number of each segments for each color.  I asked him to count with mommy to find out how many green segments we have on the board….”one, two, three”.  Then I wrote the number 3 beside it in the column.  This was repeated until we hit the brown toy.  In this case, we counted one and wrote the number 1 in the column next to it.  Yellow was of course 3.

Something like this can be done in a snap.  This probably took 10 to 15 minutes to do with my child.  At that age, that is all the attention span you are given!

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Colors
  2. Wednesday for Counting

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1. Monday-Friday for Colors
  2. Tuesday for Numbers

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Something To Think About:

If you do not think you have 10 to 15 minutes of an attention span, then do what you can with what you have.  Even 5 minutes focusing on a couple of colors and small quantities is great.  Focus on colors in the morning and after nap time, focus on the quantity.  You can do this over and over again with different quantities and colors if you want.  Whatever you are able to do at home with your child, I think it’s great!

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math, literacy, and art should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much.  I will say this over and over again because it is that important to know that you are doing a great job! 🙂

copyright 2012 learning math with mom

Flash Cards to Teach Children Their Letters and Desert Animals: Connecting Numeracy and Literacy

DesertDwellerFlashCards_All

Mathematics and literacy should go hand in hand.  I have used different things to teach my children letters of the alphabet and sounds they make.  In mathematics, we use letters as variables to solve for an unknown value/amount.  We also use our letters to form words and complete thoughts to be able to describe how we solved a problem and what questions or further explorations we still have about that problem.  This is why Learning Math with Mom has a Reading Corner on the website.  Literacy is important. What can you use to help your child begin the learning?  How about flash cards with a bit of meaning to them?

I had the pleasure of meeting a local artist, here in Tucson, AZ, at the 5th Annual UA Presents Children’s Festival.  Her name is Julie Rustad.  Julie owns Julie Originals and created a set of flash cards that related to letters and our local desert animals.  These are beautifully made flash cards and I really appreciate the thought that went into creating these miniature works of art.  Not only are they beautiful alphabet cards, but they also teach the desert child about the animals in our local surroundings.  As promised, here is Julie’s website for more information as to how to order the flash cards, or where to purchase them:  http://julieoriginals.com/.  The name of the flash cards is Desert Dwellers Flash Cards.  As a note, I have not been paid, or anything of sorts, to endorse Julie.  I simply was taken by the beauty and thought of her creation.

If you read any of my other blog entries, you know by now that simply using flash cards does not necessarily build on meaning or understanding.  So here are a few ideas of how to use Julie’s flash cards, or any other alphabet flash cards to make the learning experience for both you and your child(ren) more meaningful!

Ideas:

1)      Go outside and have your child hold, touch, see, hear, and smell things that start with that particular letter.  Practice pointing out what color(s) is on that particular animal.

2)      Practice and over emphasize the sound of the first letter of that object outside, or inside.  Allow the child to repeat the sound or you repeat the sound for him/her.

3)      For Julie’s cards, go out and see how many of the desert animals you can find outside.  Pull out that particular card and show it to your child(ren).  Practice the sounds that each letter in the name of the animals has.

4)      For an art project, work with your child(ren) to see the different shapes that each animal has on the body.  For example, the ears of a certain animal might look like circles or ovals.  The beak of a bird might look like a triangle.  Either precut those shapes out of construction paper or help your child draw the animal using those shapes.  This in particular, has helped my now 4 year old expand on his drawing by understanding what shapes make up a certain animal, car, or person.

5)      For night time reading, use the cards to read stories and facts about each animal.  Either you or your child(ren) can make up a story about that animal or a group of animals.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Reading
  2. Thursday for Shapes
  3. Friday for Art
  4. Saturday and/or Sunday for Go see it outside and explore

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1.  Monday for Shapes
  2. Monday-Friday for Letters
  3. Friday for Art
  4. Monday-Friday for Colors
  5. Saturday and/or Sunday for Go outside to see it and explore

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Something to Think About: 

When it comes to finding that one thing/learning tool you can use for so many learning experiences for your child, it becomes golden because it is only one thing you need to keep track of in your house.  In addition to that, it is also a tool that can develop meaning for your child in so many different areas.  Think about it, these flash cards can fit in your purse, diaper bag, or car.  When the moment presents itself, take them out and do a quick lesson.

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math, literacy, and art should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much. 🙂

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

How Many Hands?

Howmanyhands

As one of my dollar spot finds, I was thinking of a learning activity for these foam hands.  These are colorful and fun to the little learner.  I have used them to teach my youngest son his colors.  In hopes to make more use of the hands, I was brainstorming a short learning activity.  What little learner doesn’t like to play hide-and-go-seek?  How about an egg hunt game?

For this one, mommy hides the hands in the family room while the little learners close their eyes and count.  If the little learners are not able to count yet, have them close their eyes and sing a song.  After the song, tell your child how many hands you hid in the family room.  Then have your child go and find all of them.  Once the hands have been collected, count the hands out loud together.  At this point, if you want to label them with a number, great!  The next turn can be your child hiding all the hands and having you search for them.  At the end, both of you still count out how many hands have been collected.

So how many hands should you start with your child?  You might want to start with hiding two or three when he/she is just starting to walk, or are a great crawler.  If your child already knows how to count to five, then hide five of them.  If your child is a little bit older and knows how to count to ten, then hide ten.  The number your child is trying to work towards understanding, or counting to, is the number of  hands to hide.

What if you don’t have these hands, or cannot find these at your local dollar store?  There must be five to ten of something in your home.  If your child is into cars, then use that.   If your child is into bows, then hide the bows.  If you have ten spoons, ten pairs of socks, or ten jars of food, then use those for your hide-and-go-seek.  The important idea to take from this is that you are playing a game of math with your child by introducing counting and quantity.

Where does this fit into the Schedule of Activities for 0-18 months?

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

AnswerWednesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting

 Where does this fit into the Schedule of Activities for 18 months to 3 years?

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Answer:  Tuesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting and quantity.

Something to Think About:

When learning with your child about counting, remember to show your child what one looks like, what two looks like, and so on.  It is great when your child learns how to count to five or ten for the first time.  The next step would be to help them learn how much, or how many that number really is.  By doing this, you are attaching real meaning to the number.  This is huge in the number sense world of mathematics.

Most importantly, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they will not fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much. 🙂

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

How many spoonfuls in a jar? How much cereal do we have? Let’s count and find out!

As a first time mom, there isn’t much sleep taking place and coffee is my new best friend.  Of course, there are days that I don’t feel up to thinking about how to explore the world of math, but still want to give it a try.  The simplest thing is that since my baby has to eat, this would be a way to start introducing how to count.  At this point of doing this, my son is at the age to start baby food and I can count up to twenty with even this much lack of sleep.  Even still, waiting for the coffee to kick in is still a good idea.

So how many spoonfuls of baby food are in a jar?   It depends on the size of jar and what the child is eating out of the jar.  It also depends on what kind of spoon you are using.  In other words, it is okay to have different answers.  It is also okay to estimate later on.  For survival’s sake, let’s keep counting because counting will keep mom awake 🙂

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:  Wednesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting.

Schedule of Activities 0-18 months

When your baby is older and can eat some cereal, like cheerios, use this to help your child learn how to count and learn about quantity.  Depending on how old your child is, if you have a crawler or young toddler, start counting out cheerios one by one.  Show what one piece of cereal looks like.  What does two pieces of cereal look like? What does three, four, or five pieces look like?  Use fruit pieces, or vegetable pieces to count, depending on the meal of the day.

For our kids who are ready and have more patience sitting a little longer, use cereal to compare quantities.  Count three cheerios, then count ten cheerios and place the two quantities side by side to compare which is more, or which is less.  Ask your child to count out five cheerios and put it aside or a plate.  Then ask your child to count out then cheerios and put them side by side with the other group.  Which has more?  How many more?

For my three year old, to get him to finish his oatmeal sometimes, I ask him to tell me how many spoonfuls or bites it took to finish the bowl of oatmeal.  At this age, it works from time to time. 🙂

If anything, you can also take this time to ask a simple question of what shape are the cereal pieces.  What I am trying to help you see is that you do not necessarily need to build a “formal” lesson to teach about counting, quantity, or shapes.  Math is all around us, even during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  🙂

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:  Wednesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting.

Schedule of Activities 0-18 months

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years?

Answer:

1)      On Tuesdays for learning about numbers

2)      On Mondays for learning about shapes

3)      On Thursdays for learning about quantities of more or less.

Schedule of Activities 18 months- 3 years

Something to Think About:

This activity is something that can be done for any age of child, depending on where the child is at.  For much older children, they can keep a tally of how many spoonfuls of apple sauce is in a jar.  If you have multiple children of different ages, count the spoonfuls of baby food in a jar and have the older ones keep track over time and graph it.  Find out how many cheerios it takes to fill up a two ounce jar and compare it with using other types of cereals.  There are ways to use this idea to make it fit for all your kids so that you do not have to find a completely different activity for each child.  We as parents multitask very well, let us do the same for teaching about math.

Most importantly, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much. 🙂

copyright 2012 learning math with mom

Learning about Colors through Reading with Baby Eye Like Books

There is a series called Baby Eye Like that are board books focusing on shapes and colors.  This was an opportunity to both teach the reading and color topics on the 0-18 months schedule for Tuesday (see schedule below).

For each Tuesday, I would choose one or two colors to focus on that day.  If we were going to learn about purple and orange, I would get the corresponding books and also any toy or object in the house that was either purple or orange.

Sitting on the rug, holding my little son, I would read the books to him.  After that, both books would be placed on the floor next to the items that were quickly collected.  Grabbing a toy, I would state the color and purposely question myself about what color it is.  Should I place the object next to the book about purple, or should I place the object next to the book about orange?  The thinking out loud went a little like this:

Mom:  (Purple Block)

Where does this block belong? Hmmmmm

This block is purple.

Should I put this next to the purple book or the orange book?

I will put the purple block with the purple book.

Mom:  (Orange Block)

Where does this block belong? Hmmmmm

This block is orange.

Should I put this next to the purple book or the orange book?

I will put the orange block with the orange book.

Realizing my first son was about nine months old at that time, his attention span was not going to be long.  Depending on the day, it might have been a five to 10 minute lesson on colors.  Sometimes the learning with the blocks worked and sometimes it didn’t.  There would also be times when I just read the books with him.  He was about two years old until he was able to identify all the colors correctly.

On the other hand, my youngest son took every opportunity to do something else when it was time to read together.  I waited until he showed interest in reading the books.  Meanwhile, I would point out the colors when we were outside, or even with his fruits and vegetables.   It was not until he was about 1 ½ years old when he was interested in working with the books.  He was able to identify all the colors correctly about 4 to 5 months after that.  These experiences remind me that children learn in stages and sometimes at different moments.  At the end, they will learn.

Where does this fit into the Schedule of Activities for 0-18 months?

Schedule of Activities for the Week

(0-18  months)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday
Music Reading Numbers (counting) Shapes Art Go and see it outside and explore
ABCs  Colors Reading Reading Textures

   copyright 2012 learningmathwithmom

Something to Think About:

In a nutshell, there are plenty of books you can check out at the library that teach about colors.  Apps on the phone or iPad are also good if you do not have color flashcards handy.  There is not much that you have to buy or make to teach your child about colors.  Just go outside and share with your child about the colors around him or her.  Begin exploring what purple tastes like or smells like.  What does yellow taste like or smell like?  What does green feel like or smell like?  These questions can be answered by looking at grapes, lemons, mustard, or green leafy vegetables.  Keep things simple and then make it a routine.

copyright 2012 learning math with mom