In looking at the Common Core for Mathematics, I am excited about the changes for kindergarten. I love the idea of kindergarten being the only grade level with a Counting and Cardinality Strand and this focus for kindergarten is quite different than what Ohio expected for kindergarteners previously. Therefore, I started searching for new resources and found 30 Fun Ways to Learn About Counting by Clare Beswick in my Internet shopping cart.
As the titles suggests, there are 30 activities to promote and engage counting with children. Here's a progression of counting I was able to "pull" out of the book's introduction.
-students match, sort, group pictures and objects
-students then count groups and attaches number words to describe quantities
-students will count one to one
-students will glance at a group and identify quantity visually
-students guess and estimate visually quantity while then counting to confirm
-students are then able to use mathematical language for comparisons
The introduction of this book is filled with wonderful tips and reminders to promote counting. Clare provides a list of items children should use for counting while also including a list of ways students can record their counting. Counting is most often a verbal skill but so much of our mathematical work needs to be made visible for others, I just loved this list. I found her list of Essential Attention Grabbing and Keeping Tips helpful. It's a great list to remind us to vary our ways grasp our students attention.
Each activity is organized with a focus. Followed by a list vocabulary, what you need, and what you do. However, we all know in any given classroom we will probably need ideas to take the main idea of a lesson further for some students. Clare provides us with ideas for taking an activity further. She also guides us with a section guiding our teaching observations for things to look, listen and note. Helping us grow as mathematical observers. As if we needed more, there is even a section on more ideas to vary the original idea. This is all within a two page spread.
This book is filled with so much valuable information. The activities are very hands on with everyday objects. They often require movement and motion which we all know young learners appreciate. I also found myself wanting to share with title with my special area teachers. They are often looking for ways to collaborate and I think letting them know about the new expectations with counting could help them become more of a partner in our mathematical learning this year. I can't wait to try everything but these are a few I will definitely get to first; Spotted Dogs, Beat that Drum, Hip Hop Bunny Hop, and S-t-r-e-t-c-h! I think many of the activities could become part of our morning meeting.