As a teacher and parent, I have learned to take advantage of teachable moments that naturally occur in our lives. This may be pointing out different locations on a car ride, counting money at the grocery store, locating specific animals at a park, or finding words that start with a particular letter at a book store. Lydia has been really into what she calls “math” (anything with numbers). Counting, adding and subtracting with objects, and learning about coins.
The other day she was playing with the Guidecraft Flower Match Garden Patch. She then said she wanted to do some math, so I decided we would create a color-coded graph. These were our materials: lots of different plastic flowers, a basket of markers, and a sheet of 1″ graph paper. This lesson targets several skills:
- Sorting by one feature
- Matching by one feature
- 1:1 correspondence
- Understanding visual representations
We began by sorting the flowers by color.
Next we matched marker colors to flower colors.
Then I drew a representation of each flower color on the bottom of the graph paper. I explained to Lydia that each column represented the number of flowers of that particular color.
Lydia counted the flowers in each color category and colored in that many boxes on the graph paper. I colored the first orange box to demonstrate what to do, and from that point forward, she was able to count the flowers and color in the corresponding number of boxes with minimal assistance.
She was really proud of the work she had done!