Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Math and Science Centers

     Because we have been so focused on teaching our children to read at such a young age, I think we do not do enough math or science with our young children.  There are days, while subbing in a class, that I have seen no science and only a cut and paste worksheet for math.  Just as we teach pre-reading skills we also need to teach pre-math skills.  The skills necessary for adding and subtracting and figuring out word problems don't start in first grade.  Unlike letters, left to right, one to one corespondence, math skills come more natural to young children.  Also the math skills we teach, such as one to one correspondence, patterning, and trial and error, are some of the same skills needed in reading.

     Therefore, I believe we need to offer more than just practice counting to our students.  I have chosen to split up my reading centers from my math centers to give the same amount of focus on pre-math as pre-reading.  This will give multiple opportunities and address multiple skills throughout the day.  Most of these centers do not need there own special table or area.  I put some out and call them table toys.  Other centers need there own defined area like the light table or sensory tub.

     My math centers are presented below with many wonderful links of great ideas I want to introduce to my kids.  Please visit them.  If you have a fun math center activity, please share the link.  I would love some new ideas.

Math related printables

Construction-Rotate types of blocks to keep kids interested.  Keep some materials always available such as cars and people.

Playdough-  can be used with number cookie cutters or mats  also could use as game to add apples to trees or eggs to nest

Here are some neat recipes for playdo

Sensory table-  Made for exploring materials by using mainly your hands and by using your hands you can use other senses and explore (pouring) measuring, language, sharing. 
This site does a good job explaining why sensory play is important.
You can learn how to make your own sensory table at Teach Preschool.
remember when making a sensory tub to have atleast 2 inches of materials and enough extras to provide each child with one or more.  Remember it takes time to explore these skills, sometimes a child will pour something 100 times before they are willing to give up the item, so this center is not recommended to use as one to teach sharing, it just happens when they want something new, they might trade but probably wont take turns.  Children need to be reminded to keep the materials in the tub and to pic them off the floor when they do fall.  if you find children taking something out to play with it somewhere else, you should provide another one to play with. dont confuse the sensory tub with a place to provide a game- such as fishing game in water. Children need to use their hands to explore.
beans, rice(slippery), pasta rocks, shells, water, fake snow I found these cute plastic buldozer type car, real snow, easter eggs, easter grass, ice with salt, sand (slipppery), fake leaves
Things to include: scoops, tonges, measuring cup (i also use laundry detergent lids), turkey baster, egg beater, toys magnifying glasses
Here is something called cloud dough.  It looks like a good substitution for moon dough.
here are some cute ones to look at and each of these sites usually do a monthly sensory bin you can look at others they've made
space theme i love the shiny pasta.

rainbow garden its bright and uplifting

flower garden to this one you could add colored cups to encourage sorting

Another cute one.

Here are some other ideas for sensory tubs.

Here are some amazing and colorful sensory tubs.

If you have one you would like to share please leave your site on the comments section.  I love to see how creative people can be.

Science table

Number work

great number work

Fun and good for fine motor

This is cute, but I would use dots and numbers.

Fraction felt pieces- math is more than just numbers.  Introducing other concepts such as fractions is simple as this.


Katherine Marie Photography popsicle stick coin match craft
Neat popscicle stick game

cute tray ideas related to math plus more

Here are some cute coin sheets.

Here are some neat math center activities

Here is a cute coin caterpillar

Here are cute poems to go with the coins

Light Table
make your own light table or less find directions at Teach Preschool and then look at how she made light table disks.

Here is another mini version light table which might be more appropriate in the older grades.  If I could find one of these containers I would make one this size, maybe two.

ideas for light table including a cool Christmas tree

Pattern work

Patterning with Easter eggs

patterning on the pocket chart and other patterning fun.

Patterning doesn't need to be in a straight line.  You could find patterns everywhere.  What kind of pattern does your floor have.

sorting & graphing- one leads to the other

Sorting is natural for children.  We give children stuff to sort so that they can make comparisons which they will need to do later when adding and subtracting.

Graphing is the next step.  This is a process that makes comparing easier and is a skills some kids need lots of guidance.  This is why you start our with lined graphs that just need to be filled in.  Once children get the concept, they  can graph almost anything.  Then, we need to teach them to interpret data from the graph. 

Here  is the cutest colorful shape sorting printables and a colored paintbrush sorting file folder game.

colored egg sorting

january 0809 - 31
ask for milk lids and sort

easy to make clothspin matching, good for fine motor
 sorting color car mat

Tips for graphing

Graphing on the tray and other tray activities.

I like this way of graphing

back to school stuff spin graphing game

What a great idea for graphing numbers or all kinds of games

Geometry and shapes-

I love these magnetic shapes, the large pan is neat too.

puzzle box storage
I love this.

Here is a neat way to make magnetic puzzles out of pictures or old calendar pictures

here is a neat way to make a wooden puzzle more personal


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