# Counting & Cardinality: A Common Core Math Series

This week I will be centering all my posts on MATH- more specifically: counting & cardinality, operations & algebraic thinking, numbers and operations in base 10, measurement and data, and geometry. For those familiar with the Common Core Standards these should look very familiar! With my daughter in kindergarten this year, and with the possibility of me teaching school this fall, I thought it would be good for me to immerse myself in the current math curriculum. In this post I will share with you what I have learned about these different math standards and some activities that you can do at HOME with your kiddos! So let’s get started on our math adventure!

What is Counting & Cardinality? It is the ability to know, write, understand, group, count, and correctly use numbers. This is an important academic foundation for our little ones to completely master.

When should I start teaching my child counting & cardinality? As early as possible! Take every opportunity to use numbers- whether its counting how long it takes for your kiddo to put on their shoes or pointing out numbers in books, signs, and toys… math is everywhere!

What resources are available to help my child learn counting & cardinality? The resources are endless. Here are just a few!

There are some amazing number sense apps available. Native Numbers, Approach to Montessori- Numbers HD, Montessori Numbers, and Intro to Math by Montessorium are just a few of the many that are accessible through android and iTunes.

Literature is always a great tool in helping kids understand math concepts. Click on the pic to get more information about each of these books.

These are some of our FAVORITE workbooks from Kumon as well as other teacher resources:

There are also number sense books available for older kids.

Here are some of the activities that we have done in the past centered around counting & cardinality:

Teach your child numbers with our Number Day Plans and Free Printables. We had a great time learning numbers using a variety of methods- stamping, tracing, writing, and using stickers to show numbers. On my wiki I have a number book cover and number pages 0-30 that you are free to download and use.

Number Recognition Activities with our Education Cubes. One of the activities in our post include rolling one die and running around the table that many times (this activity is inspired and created for my little runner… remember to center your learning activities around your child’s interests!)

8 Learning Lessons You Can Use with a Number Scale. I love, love, love our number scale! My Boo (who was a toddler at the time) and I had a great time learning number sense with this fun, hands-on educational tool. One activity mentioned in our post was a “Count With Me” game.  To play you give both you and your tot ten weights. Out loud, count from one to ten together while each of you place a weight on the appropriate side of the scale. This will help your tot to see the numbers while saying them… it’s a pretty simple activity!

Here are some other GREAT educational games from around the web.

Katie from Preschool Inspirations created an interactive calendar with her preschoolers which allow them to become more familiar with number recognition.

Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy shared a wonderful way to have calendar time with her 2 year old! See it is never too early to get our kiddos involved in math!

Buggy and Buddy also has a WONDERFUL post about Finding Number Patterns Using a Hundreds Chart. She has included a free printable that I am going to print as soon as I am done typing this post!

Nadia from Teach Me Mommy posted about Using Playdough to Teach Math. She has some great number recognition activities that are not only educational but fun as well.

Creative Connections for Kids has a great kinesthetic game where you use your body to count. I especially like that this is something you can do anywhere! For those teachers- great educational activity to do with your kids when you are waiting outside during a fire drill. 🙂

Lalymom shares several different ways to work on counting with your kids. I love that her ideas are simple and things you can integrate into your daily activities.

Lemon Lime Adventures has a great post for those who are struggling on how to start teaching math with your kiddos. I especially like her list of math centered questions you can ask your child. Thanks for this resource Dayna!

Debs from Learn With Play at Home had a great idea using paper tubes to teach number recognition and ordering. This activity is geared for kids 2 and up… such a fun education craft! She also posted an idea to teach your kids teen numbers with manipulatives, a super cute bowling game to teach number recognition (great for those active little kids!), making 10 with an egg carton, and 30 Counting Activities to do with Kids. This site is a wonderful resource for counting & cardinality!

Math Story has some number sense songs (as well as other math standards) with videos and lyrics. Great resource for our music/visual learners.

Check out What Do We Do All Day for a Kindergarten Number Matching Game. Great hands on learning activity!

I hope this list is will be a great resource as your are teaching your kids about counting & cardinality. Remember: Math can be fun! And it doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time to teach these fundamental skills.

Happy Teaching!

# Countdown to Halloween Blocks for Kids

Can you tell by all the bazillion posts this month that we are excited for Halloween! As most of you might already know, Halloween is my daughter’s birthday. So we go all out and celebrate! (completely random info: i used to hate Halloween until I became a mom. i love having holiday fun with my little family!)
I had a craft day with some neighborhood friends and made these darling countdown to Halloween blocks.

I wanted my daughter to have a set in her room that would be child proof- so she could countdown right along with Mommy! And as soon as I thought about making a countdown set, I KNEW I needed to use my Education Cubes! (Seriously love these- they are an amazing tool for all those kids that need hands on learning!)
I used the number cards in the Education Cube set.  One cube has the digits 0-5 and the other cube has the digits 0, 1, 2, 6 (which also doubles as a 9), 7, and 8.
I made the base out of a kleenex box, and since we didn’t have any empty ones, well…. let’s just say this countdown will come in handy if my daughter has a runny nose 🙂

Then voila! You have an easy, kid friendly, educational (think of the counting backwards lessons…) Halloween countdown! Wahoo!

Happy Teaching!

visit the Show & Tell to get and share Education Cube ideas

# General Conference Cubes

Conference cubes- I have learned the best way to engage a child in a learning activity is to speak to their interests. I have a wonderfully energetic and vivacious daughter, and so anything gross motor is FABULOUS.  I thought it would be fun to use our Education Cubes to play an interactive conference dice game. (Check out the Education Cube website- it has been a fun addition to our learning time activities! You can purchase the soft cubes with clear plastic pockets from CP toys ) If you don’t have these cubes, number dice would work- just assign each activity a number.  Some of the activities will engage my daughter in the talk, while others will keep her mind busy on church related activities.

The game is simple: throw the dice to see the activity you will be doing during the next conference talk! You will need six different activities (one for each side of the dice) Here is a list of what we have come up with…

1. Book basket- thumb through church books, scrapbooks, church magazines, children’s book of mormon, and various church pictures we have on file.
2. Magna Doodle (or blank notepad)- Listen to the speaker and draw different words or stories that are mentioned in the talk. This could even be used as a pictionary game where the parents draw (if the child is artistically challenged) and the child guesses what is being drawn. (Hmm, this might work as a sacrament activity as long as it is played quietly. I think I will have to try it!)
3. Church flannel board stories. In my mind I see it all perfectly- the speaker mentions a scripture story, my daughter whips out the corresponding felt story set and does a perfect reenactment of the story alongside the speaker. In all reality, that probably won’t happen. BUT simply playing with church related flannel board stories is an appropriate Sunday activity and definitely realistic. If you don’t have felt church stories, no worries. Chocolate on my Cranium has TONS of free downloads that you can prepare in advance or have the kids color and cut them out while watching conference.
4. Try some of the Conference for Kids activities mentioned on SugarDoodle. I especially like the ideas from A Little Tipsy and Mormon Mamma. There are also church related dot-to-dots from My CTR Ring. I am thinking that my daughter can do a conference packet if it is only during one talk. We’ll see.
5. Do-a Dot pages- these are pages that your kid can stamp using either dot markers or bingo marker pens (found at the dollar store). There are several mini-marker pages and magnet pages that work well for this at Making Learning Fun.  There is also a bible related page on DLTK. I thought I would be brave and attempt my computer graphic skills by making some LDS related dot pages…. this is what I came up with (check out this post for more)

6. Special treat cup. This wil be just a little tupperware container with fun treats. Conference just wouldn’t be the same without treats. Conference is a time of nourishing both spirit and stomach. 🙂
Other ideas that I have thought about doing:
• having my daughter jump on our little exercise tramp during one of the talks. It would meet all her energetic requirements, but lacks a little on the reverence scale….
• pulling out our I Am A Child of God Quiet Kit, but that gets used a lot on Sundays and I want to try something new!
• Conference bingo from Latter Day Chatter… darling but maybe something we will try when Boo is just a tad older!
• favorite quiet board games
• magnetic letters/shapes
• a LOT of cute ideas at the Family Home Evening Ideas blog
I hope you and your kiddos have a wonderful time listening to General Conference!
Happy teaching!

# Word Family Fun

My daughter has amazed us with her ability to pick up reading at such a young age. She can sound out any three letter word. Of course her three year old attention span allows for small moments of reading time, so we don’t push it or make reading something that is not the wonderful thing that it is! (Complete random side note: I have been reading the Anne of Green Gable books again and I can not stop!! Reading is a blessing but can be such a time thief!)
We have spent the past week reviewing some of the -at, -an, -ag, and -ad words. We will read a list of words, then play an activity that relates with one of the words on the list. For example, after we read a list of -at words (cat, fat, hat, sat, mat, rat, and pat) we played a hat game. We ran around a bunch of hats until the music stopped- then we all had to grab a hat. One hat was taken away each time (like musical chairs.) After reading -an words we threw bean bags into a pan. After reading ag words we played tag (and wagged our tails!). These were all fun, quick, easy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants games.

Some other fun reading things that we have done include our latest learning toy- education cubes. If you are interested in purchasing some, I would recommend visiting this site quickly since there is a promotion going on. These blocks have been a lot of fun in our house! We have used the cubes to make simple three letter words. We have also been using the word family cards to play 2 different games.

The first one we throw the cube, run to it, and then my daughter reads the word.

In the second game we have all four cubes out with different word family cards. I would tell my daughter, where is the word “can”? She would then read all four words on the cubes, find the word “can”, and tell me the color of the cube “can” was in. She would grab that corresponding color of bean bag and throw it at the word. (Phew! The second game took forever to explain and I am afraid it makes no sense!)

I am so excited to continue working with my daughter in the realm of reading. There may be bumps ahead in this adventure, but I am SURE we will find much joy in this journey.
Happy teaching!