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A Look at Math Workshop in Kindergarten

October 4, 2022 | Bridget O'Dowd

As we finish our first unit in Math and begin our second, I reflect on the habits children are forming, the hard work they have done, and of course the fun that they’ve had while doing it!

In a short 3 weeks, children have taken on a natural role of mathematicians not only in Math Workshop, but in all aspects of their day.

As they count the number of friends in school each day they are practicing number sense, one-to-one correspondence, comparing lengths of the attendance stick, and community building all in this simple everyday activity!

We were introduced to our class calendar. It helps us to count the days in a month, know how many days until a special day, and is a great resource to have when we forget how to write a number.

We met and explored new materials that we will use throughout this year! Pattern blocks, geoblocks, attribute blocks, and connecting cubes become old favorites in kindergarten!

After reading the story, Mouse Count, about a greedy snake who counted his mice as he put them in a jar only to end up with no mice at the end, children met the counting jars. These jars contain various materials in a variety of quantities. We will revisit counting jars frequently over the course of the school year. As we practice counting the collection of objects in each jar, building a set of equal amount, and recording our work, children are developing a strong number sense so that later in their mathematician lives they will be able to manipulate those quantities (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) with ease and with multiple strategies!

We have also begun using the clothesline! This week we have worked on ordering numbers 0-10 as numbers and representational with dots. This is another way children are developing a strong number sense. They have been practicing seeing a number in multiple ways (numerical, represented by dots, ten frames) to promote flexible thinking!

As we explored our math manipulatives, children began to notice the different attributes of each object. Children have played games that require them to look closely and find a matching attribute. Button Match-up and Attribute Block Match-up are two games that the children have played where they are matching one or more characteristics of their partner’s button or block. They were challenged to find one that wasn’t exactly the same!

Our next unit will continue to develop a strong number sense in counting as well as focus on comparing lengths and quantities in a set. Here is the family letter from our next math unit. We encourage you to count with your child at home and try some of the at-home activities included in the parent letter!

Bridget O'Dowd

Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.

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