When I think of what a preschool teacher’s role is when creating learning opportunities for her students I think of two things; using the child’s natural interests and working towards developmental goals. Developmental goals are of course individual, but the same simple activities can work towards a variety of goals for different children. This number line activity does just that. It is SO simple, but it’s packed with possibilities.
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Using the Unifix Cubes for this number line does two things, it makes it about building which is HUGE ( like my emphasis?) for many young children, this appeals to their desire to play and to create. It also allows them to touch and feel the difference between the numbers which helps with their math development. The cubes themselves are not the easiest to stick together, so some hand strength and fine motor work naturally appear in this too. The best part is this will take you 3 minutes to make, let me show you how;
Gather your materials. You will need some Unifix Cubes, a tray, some tape, paper, scissors, and a marker. If you have plain masking tape, you can skip the paper and just write on that, but I was all out!
Write the numbers on the paper after you tape it down. I do kinda dig the polka dots and stripes mixed though!
Pop some Unifix Cubes in a container and build. I like to have activities like this partially set up before introducing it at free choice. If you have an inquisitive group that likes to figure stuff out all on their own, leave it out! See how they use it. They might come up with an even better way.
If you don’t have Unifix Cubes, try Duplo instead!
For younger children cap the line at five instead of making it all the way to 10, or even shorter. Adjust to the needs of your students.
Building a strong foundation for math doesn’t have to be hard but having tools and materials that can be played with is so important. Find more hands-on math ideas here!