Mastering the counting sequence, i.e. rote counting
Use a calendar to which you can add a date every day. Every morning, during circle time, look at yesterday’s date and day: “Yesterday was Tuesday, March 18.” Then ask the children “What is the date today? What comes after 18?” “How do you write it?” “How did you figure it out?” They may not be able to name nineteen, but they will know that it is written 19. You may have a child write it on the board before posting the number on the calendar.
Make a game of counting forward from 1 to today’s date then backward: blast off like rockets to start the day!
Put the children’s birthdays and special holidays on the calendar. Count how many more days until their birthday or a holiday arrives
Associating a numeral with the number of objects in a collection
Classification and Recognising/Making Patterns
Things that Belong Together
Grouping with two attributes
Find a situation in which you can classify things according to 2 attributes: the thing can have one or the other or both. To make the sets visual, place their answers in two overlapping circles, (a Venn diagram presentation of sets). Then count which circle/category has the most, the least, etc.
For example, combine literacy with numeracy by grouping the children’s names according to the presences of either one of two letter or both. Use other natural classroom situation with the objective.
Calendar Patterns (and Counting)
Vary the look of your calendar according to the month: apples, pumpkins, snowflakes, etc. Use different colours or images to create patterns on the calendar, for example, in September use yellow, red and green apples. Introduce the pattern, for example, red-yellow-green. Every day, ask a new child to determine the next in the series and to either write or find the date. Use these occasions to observe whether the child can follow from left to right and from up to down on the calendar.
Making Simple Patterns
Provide materials to create simple patterns and a few examples to start with. Ask the children to reproduce the patterns. Then ask them to create their own. When the activity is finished, they explain their pattern by pointing to and describing each part of the pattern, e.g. 2 red, 2 blue 1 green, etc.
Examples of fun manipulatives to use:
- pipe cleaners and beads, buttons
-playdough holding 3-4 spaghetti sticks on which beads are threaded
- coloured pasta on play dough strips
- letters in upper and lower case
- shapes in a variety of colours.