The best activities in my classroom are ones I think up on the spot to fit the needs of my students using materials we already have on hand. I get it; I love elaborate Pinterest-worthy thematic stuff ( don’t most of us?), but that’s not even the icing on the cake. Those activities are the sprinkles. Activities like this that are not flashy don’t break the bank, and don’t require a long material list are the cake. The everyday activities help children learn, empower their independence, and feel pride in what they have been working on. This PreK math center idea is so simple I almost didn’t blog about it, but I wanted to share it anyway. It works on so many skills but is simple enough to do with a moment’s notice. Perfect for your math center in your preschool or kindergarten classroom.
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Making Materials for PreK Math Center
Gather your materials. You will need small blocks ( unifix cubes, lego, or these blocks all work), some strips of paper, and crayons. I also had some premade matching strips that I made for a previous activity that worked as guides, but they aren’t a must-have. You can buy some for unifix cubes here.
I started this Prek math center activity with one student by showing her how I could match up the blocks to the premade matching strips and then count them, but I asked her if she’d rather make her own. She glowed at the idea. I grabbed some crayons, and we got to work.
I used the premade ones as examples.
She designed hers a little differently.
Soon we had more students joining us.
They worked so hard making their own.
“Ms.Allie, we are like toymakers making the toys for kids to learn with.” <— seriously, how am I ever going to have a more precious class? These children are exceptional!
More children joined this prek math center activity throughout our free choice learning block, and they all had their own way of creating, which is exactly what I was hoping for. They are working on pre-writing skills, patterning, and visual discrimination, but they are also building confidence in their abilities to do something they view as an adult task. Making my students feel like they are active participants in creating learning activities and our class environment is a core goal as a teacher. I want my students to feel like we are all learning together, that they are constructing their learning while I facilitate it, and offer support along the way. Some chose to take their matching strips home. Others asked to keep them at school with the blocks for other children to match up.
Need more simple learning activities for preschool?
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I love this activity.