Counting At Home With Preschoolers

This post has been a long time coming.  Seriously, I started working on it back in the summer and I just haven't had a chance to finish it out! Phew!  Because of the dragging out on my part, this will now be a 2 part series!

I have LOVED working with Cooper at home "playing school!"  It is one of his most favorite things that we do together.  I'll be honest, when I'm teaching, it's hard to get to consistently, but we do try to play school games at least once a week while I'm in school and at least 3 times a week when I'm on breaks!

If you follow my blog, you probably have figured out by now that I'm a math junkie {If you haven't, read about that here}.  So, helping Cooper build a strong foundation in math is something I really love to do!

He already knew how to rote count to at least 10 before we started working on math this summer, and he could already identify most of his numbers 0-10 and he could count a small set of things.  So, I knew he was ready for a little bit more number sense...and my iTeach Tots Math packet was born!

Here is our math school time counting routine:
1. We order our numbers 0-10 to make a number line.
{Now that he's really good at ordering his numbers, we match the number word cards to the numeral--I read the word and he reads it and matches it!}

2.  We count on and count back using our number line we made.  We started by counting from 0 to 10 and counting back from 10 to 0.  Then, I started asking him in my most excited voice, "Do you think you can count on starting at the number 3??" Cooper just giggles and uses his number line to count on.  When he mastered that, we started the same thing counting back from random numbers 0-10. I know it seems silly, but this is one of his favorite parts.  Anything that is approached like it's a game is a winner in our house!

3.  We use the bears to build sets.  We start with the number 1 and work as high as he can go.  At first, we could barely make it to building a set of 3.  But now, he can build sets over 10 and we don't have to start at 1...I just choose a few numbers for him to build for me!  We always try building the set on his own first, and when he struggled, I would pull out the dot cards as extra support.

I had him build the set of bears on the dots and then took the dots away to see if he could build it independently.  This worked really really well for him and as a math junkie, I know seeing those dot patterns and making him visualize the dot patterns to build the set independently is the perfect foundation for subitizing!

4.  Now that Cooper is really really solid with building sets, we match the dot sets to the numeral.  This makes it a tad harder because it's taking away the manipulative and just using a picture representation.  Now his routine is to order the numbers, match the word cards and then match the dot cards to the numerals.  I can usually get him started working on this and then while he is matching, I can get ready for the rest of our lesson time.


And while Cooper adores his counting cards from the iTeach Tots Math Packet, we've had a blast changing these up to some seasonal counting and set building cards!


Grab the Christmas tree set building FREEBIE by clicking the image! :)
We are creeping in on February and little guy still loves building sets with his Christmas trees and pumpkins! :)

This entire counting routine takes about 10 minutes.  After our counting routine, we move into a few math stories....I'll be blogging about that soon!  In the meantime, check out all of my iTeach Tots packets!


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