Last year my parents gave me the most wonderful math materials set by Spielgaben.
The materials are open ended, engaging, and of high quality. The colors are so inviting, and we spent a lot of time last year exploring them in an open ended way.
This year I have been setting aside class time to introduce the materials in a more formal way. At first I was daunted by the loads and loads of teacher’s guides that the set provides. But, I found out that I could upload all of the guides onto Adobe.com and then access them from my ipad in the preschool space. This allowed me to flip through the lessons quickly, use much less paper, and I can show the children the steps as we are working together with the ipad lessons guiding us. I haven’t gone through each and every lesson in the order they are provided. I have picked and chosen the different lessons based on the children in my class.
One of the first lessons we worked on was creating shapes with the yarn and ball manipulatives. We made squares, triangles, houses, hexagons and octagons.
In addition to the lessons, I have provided the materials to make one of the nature inspired picture cards. As you can see from the seal picture, these are very hard! Children must manipulate the blocks by turning them on their sides, or pointing them at new angles. It is interesting to watch them go about the task of representing the animals with the blocks.
This is the not the greatest picture, but here is M creating a Hippo!
Another lesson focused on geometric shapes. The cube, cylinder, and the sphere where the highlight of the lesson. They had to find the corresponding shapes from the box and “skewer” them on the sticks provided.
Once they mastered the three different shapes, then I laid the blocks out in a pattern. They had to replicate the pattern using the geometric shapes on a longer stick. Tricky!
A few more of the animals we have made! I love M’s face here, such focus!
Some of the animal picture cards I printed out for the children to look at more closely. Here is D with his milk cow!
Of course the math materials are always open to just be played with an explored freely. I think having the more formal lessons has made the children more interested in the pieces again. G in the picture above loved lining up the sticks by size. One morning was spent with everyone tracing each other with the stick pieces. This was sparked after we had pulled the sticks out to make the zebra. I love being open to learning and letting the children guide their opportunities. You never know where they will take you!
You can see the different outlines on the floor. M even wanted to add some details to the inside of his outline.
L was really giving D a long arm there!
As you can see the children have been exposed to a lot of new math concepts this fall already! From manipulating the blocks, geometric shapes, and much more! I can’t wait to see what new learning unfolds from these materials this year!