Category Archives: Math

Learning Chinese Characters at Preschool

3 part cards izzy

The preschool class is learning to read and write Chinese characters.   We’re beginning with numbers and then will progress to other simple characters.  A variety of methods are being used to facilitate learning.

The Montessori 3 part card method is being use to introduce the characters. Children are shown a whole card with a picture and the Chinese character beneath the picture. The whole cards are placed on the table and then matched with the corresponding pictures and characters.

3 part cards elijah

 

 

 

 

 

The iPad is being used as a tactile method to facilitate writing. Our Chinese teacher shows children the correct order in which to write the characters. Children then practice writing and can do the activity as many times as they want since the sheet can be erased and reused. Children’s work can then be shared with parents through email.

ipad 4 marcus

ipad 4 chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After completing the Montessori 3 part cards and the iPad exercises children are ready to write the characters on paper worksheets.

worksheet max

worksheet bella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Pandas Preschool

Advertisements

December Activities

sensory tub

December has just begun and we’re all very busy!  The children have completed many activities already and there are so many more to do before Christmas vacation begins.

sensory group 2

 

 

 

 

 

The winter sensory tub (inspired by Teach Preschool) has been a big hit with all the children.  Even the adults can’t keep their hands out of it!  A tub was filled with plastic frosty snow.  Penguins and an iceberg from a game we have were added to the snow along with clear and blue acrylic ice cubes.  Some wood scoops and a couple wire Christmas ornaments were added.  The blue confetti snowflakes add some cool color to the tub.  We’ve had a couple incidents where the children have thrown the snow up to watch it fall, but who wouldn’t be tempted to do that?

pompom elijah 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children continue to learn Chinese with Gao Laoshi and are beginning to learn to count to 20.  A couple felt Christmas trees were attached to the wall and velcroed pom poms  were set out in a dish.  This activity helps children to practice counting as well as learn Chinese color vocabulary.

chinese writing elijah 1

 

 

 

 

 

Gao Laoshi has started introducing some simple Chinese characters to the children.  They’re beginning to write numbers.

counting marcus 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas shaped erasers have been set out at the math center for children to work on one-to-one correspondence.

popsicles max 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colored craft sticks were also set out at the math table.  Velcro dots were attached to the ends on both sides so that the children can build geometric shapes  with them.

stones group 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A basket of clear and different shades of blue stones have been set out at the light table for children to build with.

fingerpaint groupfingerpaint seneca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finger painting on foil was a new experience for all the kids.  They enjoyed seeing the shiny foil through the paint.

Little Pandas Preschool

Magnetic Tiles at the Light Table

Bella’s Structure

Preschool has started, and I have so many ideas to share with the kids this year.  Our theme for the year is “All About Me and My World!”  This year’s big project will be an interactive iPad book created by the kids and teachers.  More will be posted about that in another post.  During September the kids are learning about themselves and their families.  Gao, Laoshi, our Chinese teacher has been using the wooden doll house and the panda family to give children vocabulary about their families and homes.  I wanted to take pictures of the doll house furniture for the iPad book, but found many of the pieces missing or broken.  So, I went to the store to get some new furniture.  Unfortunately the store only had plastic furniture.  However, the store had these magnetic tiles in clear colors that would be perfect for the light table.  I could’t resist them!

The tiles were introduced to the children Monday morning during center time.  They were a BIG hit, and the kids loved them!  It was amazing to watch the children explore and build with the tiles and to hear all the language being used to describe their constructions.  Children were building houses, towers, pizzas, and just putting pieces together like a puzzle.  One boy was creating birds and making them fly.  Not on the light table, but still he was using his imagination.

In addition to language skills the tiles have the potential to teach science and geometry concepts.  The kids were learning to build using trial and error and making hypothesis of what will and won’t work as they created.  There was also a lot of team work happening.  I may have to purchase some more tiles to create more elaborate structures.

Little Pandas Preschool

Unit Blocks

This school year we’re updating the blocks and related toys in our block center.  We’ve already added some more Brio trains and a Quadrilla marble run.  Last week a new set of unit blocks arrived.

It must have felt like Christmas to the kids.  They were very excited to open the boxes.

The kids spent the rest of the day building.

The older boys were very focused on their work and built some interesting and complex structures.

Even the youngest ones built some very significant structures.

The block center provides the children with many opportunities for group interaction and cooperative play.

Little Pandas Preschool

Circumference

The children learned how to measure the size of a ball and explored the concept of circumference.

They discussed different options for measuring their balls and tried them out.

Blue painter’s tape was used to measure the balls.

They removed the tape and laid it out on the table.

One inch tiles were used to measure the tape and find the circumference.  

Little Pandas Preschool

A Morning at Preschool Post #2

As promised here is post number two of a typical morning at preschool.  The kids chose to work at the math and science centers.  Y. is sorting bears by size and color.

It’s interesting to watch the different learning styles.  V. has to try every activity. He spent much time thinking about and sorting the Cuisenaire rods by height and then moved on to the other math center activities.

Here V.  and Y. are matching the cardstock shapes with the shapes in the book.  As Gloria rotates through the centers she gave the children Chinese shape vocabulary.

Unifix Cubes have also been in the math center for the kids to explore.  The children are given a couple weeks to play with items put in the different centers. After they’ve had time to explore the materials related activities will be added that require the children to work on specific skills.  One of the skills children will develop with Unifix Cubes is color pattern recognition.

Z. is a great thinker and watches very intently everything that happens in the classroom.  Here he is working at the science table and looking at a bug under the microscope.

Z. and Y. continue to work with measuring tools.

The teachers haven’t introduced the measuring tapes to the children yet, but they’ve been sitting in the science center since the beginning of September.  I was really curious to see what the kids would do with them and was very pleased to see the results! Z.  has had a lot of practice using rulers and yardsticks and was able to apply that knowledge using the tape measure.

Y. and V.  followed Z.’s lead and began working with the tape measures.

After morning preschool the children have free play, lunch, block play, story time and nap or rest.   The nap is followed by free play or theme activities.  

All of these wonderful discoveries from the previous post and this one happened in same morning!  Our kids are very busy and just absorbing so much knowledge while they play.

Little Pandas Preschool

A Morning at Preschool Post #1

Our new school year is well underway and the kids as well as the teachers are having fun doing all the activities.   A typical day begins with free play while the kids wait for their friends to arrive. At 9:00 they participate in circle time which includes music and Chinese activities.  After circle time the children may choose to work at a variety of centers the teachers have prepared for them. Each center has three to six activities to choose from.

On this morning most of the children opted to work at the language arts center.   V. is working on a Zoo Phonics activity where he is filling in the “b” outline with playdough.

Next V. chose to practice writing “b” with Crayola window markers on a plexiglass sign holder.  The boat worksheet is inserted inside the sign holder.  This year the Zoo Phonics curriculum is being integrated with our science themes. We’ve been working on measurement and exploring balls, so the children have been learning all about the letters b and m with Bubba Bear and Missy Mouse.

These gel bags were featured in the toddler activities post a couple days ago.  The gel bags are fun for all ages and help children to develop the fine motor skills needed to learn handwriting.  

The teachers rotate through the centers and help the children as needed.  With the exception of the Zoo Phonics activities Gloria encourages the children to learn Chinese vocabulary while completing tasks.

Children love sensory activities.  A. is playing with the rubber bands that were set out as part of our movement and motion unit. The teachers started several rubber band balls for the children to add to.  As the balls grow bigger the children will play with them and compare them with the other balls they’ve explored.  As we move farther along in our movement study the children may also discover other attributes of the rubber bands.

Sand is the absolute ultimate sensory activity!  The children can’t get enough of it.  The sand table helps children to develop many skills including math, language, and social interactions.  Currently the sand table is equipped with many measuring utensils to compliment our measurement unit.  Through their play the children are learning about volume and comparing the different units of measurement.

In the past we’ve always used authentic Oregon beach sand in the sensory table, but I discovered colored sand over the summer.   I love color and can’t wait to try out the purple sand.  Although I’m sure if the kids choose the color we might have to buy pink!

The children are very busy at preschool and this is only part of what was accomplished on this particular morning.  The next post will include the rest of the morning’s activities.

Little Pandas Preschool

Graphing our Ball Collection

The children began bringing balls from home to add to our collection.  Each morning during circle time the children get to tell the class all about their ball. This is a great opportunity for the kids to develop language, speaking, and listening skills.

After circle time the children gathered all the red balls in the gym and talked about their characteristics.  

The children counted an equal amount of red squares to glue onto the color graph which they helped make the day before.

The process was repeated for the blue balls.

The preschoolers will continue to work on this graph for the rest of the week along with other planned activities.  In addition to the math and science skills being developed the children are also learning to count and recognize colors in Chinese!

Little Pandas Preschool

Balls, Balls, and More Balls!

This week the preschoolers began the movement and motion unit study by looking at balls.  During circle time they had a discussion about things that move and determined balls fit in that category.  As the conversation progressed the children talked about different attributes of balls and how they might move.  

After much discussion the children gathered all the balls in the gym to play.

The children are bringing balls from home to add to our collection at school. Over the next few weeks the children will graph the balls by their color, size, texture, and type.  

The children helped to draw the first graph that will be used to gather data about the colors of the balls in our collection.  Helping to draw the graph allows the children to practice the skills that were learned when the class studied measurement. 

Little Pandas Preschool

One Inch Tiles

The measurement unit continues as the children look at one inch tiles.  The children were given tiles, which are a great sensory item, to explore and play with.

Eventually the children laid the tiles onto rulers and counted them.

Next the children measured toys with the tiles.  Z.  began exploring the concept of area when he laid the tiles out on a doll bed.

Some of the tiles were put in the art center where the children made prints.

Little Pandas Preschool