You all know by now how much I like to create new activities for my little ones.. Keep them interested and challenged. So I came up with this little math activity. Nothing extraordinary but I am quite pleased with it. On Friday, we were outside and one of my students came running up to me excitedly, carrying a little ladybird in her hand and shouted: "the ladybird is awake.. she 's awake... She is not hibernated anymore!!". All the kids gathered arounfd her to look at it and went all around the garden to see if they could find anymore. They were not very lucky in their hunt, alas! However, this gave me the idea for my math activity. A nice way to tie everything together! So here is what I did:
First, I made some numeral cards: I used green for odd numbers and yellow for even numbers. I used a spongy/foamy type of paper.
I laminated 10 ladybird templates I found in my "drawer of things to keep" (which basically mean, "my messy drawer where I put everything when I don't know wherelse to put them!!") and cut them out once they were laninated.
I used 55 black buttons as counters and voila!!
First the child takes the ladybird out of the tray and is shown how to lay hem horizontally, one fater one, from let to right at the top of the mat (by the way, we did the exercise at the table first, but I would strongly recomend to do it on the floor as it takes a LOT of space!).
The child then lays the number cards randomly on the mat and must pick the numbers in sequence from 1-10, laying number 1 on top of the first ladybird, on the left. The child keeps going in this fashion until all the number cards have been placed orderly. The teacher should encourage the child to learn his odinal numbers at that stage, by saying for insatnce: "what comes after 2?". The child says 3 and the teacher asks him to place it on the "third " ladybird etc.. This is a great way to either introduce or reinforce the child's knowledgeof ordinal numbers.
Then, the teacher places the basket in front of the child and asks him how many counters the 1st card should get. The chld says 1 and places 1 counter on the left wing of the ladybird. She then asks the child how many counters should go on the 2nd ladybird. The child places 2 counters: on on the left wing, and another on the right wing.
When the exercise is finihed, I would remind the child of what an odd and an even number is and point at the pattern of the counters. The odd number have no partner at the end of the row but the even number numbers do. I would also point at the different colours used for this exercise.
I am very pleased with the activity. It is base don the cards and counters material designed by Montessori but with a little twist, which I think will attract the children and bring them back to the task again and again.... As i said above, nothing you haven't seen.. nothing extraordinary.. but it is so satisfying to create your own materials!!!!!!