Early childhood educators and care providers spend much of their time every day helping children develop math and literacy skills. This knowledge and skill development is crucial for school readiness and success.
Preschool math skills include: shapes; counting 0-20; comparing; directions/positions; classifying; size; patterning; money concepts; ordering; estimating; and measuring.
Early literacy skills include: speaking; listening; emergent writing; and emergent reading skills.
(emergent means the gradual process of acquiring skills)
The same basic materials can be used to support both math and literacy skills.
1. Leaves – collect lots
• Sorted by color, shape and size
• Practice counting and 1-1 correspondence
• Create ‘sets’ – a grouping of the same types of leaves
• Create a pattern out of the colors/shapes. Example: maple leaf, oak leaf, maple leaf
• Make a leaf graph on the table
1 leaf in the first row; 2 leaves in the second row; 3 leaves in the third row etc.
• Use for directional words– put the red leaf in front of the brown leaf
• Increase vocabulary by using descriptive words for the leaves – the types, the colors (try different words than red, yellow, brown etc. such as magenta, coral, golden etc.)
• Talk about how the leaves smell, how the sound when you walk on them, how you can twirl like a leaf on a windy day
• Write a story about where your leaf has been
• Create a ‘shape’ poem – write words about leaves inside an outline of a leaf
2. Apples – buy different types
• Cut an apple open and count the seeds
• Gather several different types of apples, compare size, color and taste
• Purchase items for making an apple pie or apple crisp; measure out the ingredients
• Counting Apples rhyme: One apple, two apples, three apples, four
Five apples, six apples, seven apples more
Eight apples, nine apples, ten apples in a pie
Please give me a piece for me to try!
• Read books from the library with apples or pumpkins in them
• Allow your child to create an apple or pumpkin picture with colored pencils, crayons or markers and have them dictate what is happening in their picture
• Create a grocery list with the supplies for making an apple pie or apple crisp
• Copy your apple pie or apple crisp recipe on a larger piece of paper (easier for children to see it), use the recipe to make the recipe with your child
Most everyday activities can become a time for math or literacy skill practice!