Math

Question of the Day

The Question of the Day is a great routine to establish in your classroom! Some of the benefits include:

  • Your kiddos get a daily opportunity to make a choice and express their opinions.
  • The questions are great conversation starters and help you create opportunities for oral language development.
  • You have daily opportunities to discuss and reinforce math concepts like graphing and data collection, vocabulary (more, less, how many more, how many less, equal), and counting skills.

This is part of our routine every single day, and my kiddos love it! In my room, I don’t go through the whole process in one sitting. Here’s how I do it:

  1. At my school, all the kiddos come to the room at the same time. (What a blessing!) As they come in and go to the carpet, they are always trying to read the question of the day to figure out what it says before I tell them!
  2. Once they are all sitting, I read the question to them. (We call it our choice board.)
  3. I call them one or two at a time to move their name card from “Home” to the choice board. (All the name cards start on my circle time board under the “Home” heading until the kiddos arrive. Hint: This is a super easy way to keep tabs on attendance!)
  4. Later in the day, during our math time, we have our discussion about the choice board. We count how many friends chose each option. We make cube towers to match the two numbers. We compare the cube towers using terms like more, less, equal, difference, how many more, and how many less.
  5. At the end of the day, when each kiddo gets packed up to go home, they move their name cards back to the “Home” section of our circle time board.

When you first start implementing a question of the day, you’ll need to spend a lot of time teaching the procedures and key vocabulary terms. BUT… before too long, you will notice that your kiddos start to internalize these and using them on their own! They will start counting, comparing, and discussing before you ever direct them to do so! This is one of the reasons why I love to delay the discussion of our choices. It gives my kiddos lots of opportunities to have their own discussions before we ever do it together!

Now we are at the point that, after we count each group of names, all I have to do is say, “What do you notice about our choice board?” And, the replies come flying!! They get so excited to tell me all the things they notices about the choice board!

Here’s what our choice board looks like, with an example of one of our questions from our Dr. Seuss unit:

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As you can tell, “The Cat in the Hat” was the favorite by a landslide! But, you get the idea!

So far, three sets of my questions of the day are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, and more are coming soon! Just click here to see which ones are currently available! (Note: The question pictured above is not included in the Silly Cat Question of the Week because of copyright restrictions attached to the two book covers. But, the words are included, and you can get the books images off the internet!)

Happy Teaching!

Snowman Math!

This week is all things snowmen in our class! And our math focus is numeral recognition, so we’ve been playing some fun snowman games during our math station time to help us do just that!

The first one is a Roll & Cover game. These are always favorites with my kiddos! They have fun pictures on them, and my kiddos get to use dice! I’m pretty sure ANY pre-k teacher would agree that prekinders LOVE to use dice! I grabbed some dice and colored discs out of my math manipulatives, and we were all set!

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Can you tell that we’ve also been doing some serious work on patterns?? This friend was being VERY careful to select her discs in the right order! (If you look closely, you can tell she’s about to add another green one!)

Helpful Hint: If you have trouble with your kiddos keeping their dice contained when they roll, put your dice into small transparent containers. Have your kiddos shake the container, set it down, and look to see what it landed on. No more dice flying all over the room!!

We’ve also been playing a VERY simple board game to help with numeral recognition, counting, AND one-to-one correspondence. All you need for this one is some small objects to be the game pawns, the game board, and the snowman numeral cards. It’s really very simple. The kids draw a card, identify the numeral, and move their pawn that many spaces. I just pulled out some of my bear counters for this one!

Helpful Hint: I tell my kiddos that they either BOTH win or they BOTH lose because the goal of the game is for everyone to make it safely home! This takes the competitive element away, and avoids tears when one of your kiddos “loses.”

If you want these game for your own classroom, you can get them in my TPT store! Just click on the images below to grab your own set!

Snowman Roll and Cover Snip         Snowmen Board Game Snip

What are your favorite snowman math activities??

Happy teaching!!