Pre-K math journals

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by gpsysngbrd, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Aug 12, 2013

    Anybody do Math journals with Pre-K? Have you done it as a whole class, small groups, one big journal for the whole class. I'm thinking this might be good as I have one girl who's very smart for her age and then a couple who could use some extra help and this might be a good way to do that
     
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  3. preteach

    preteach Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2013

    I have not, but would be also be interested in doing so.
     
  4. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Aug 13, 2013

    I'm thinking of pulling small groups during morning centers based on ability. Then either after lunch or after nap revisit the journal page for that day and talk about how we solved it.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2013

    What kinds of problems and journaling are you envisioning? I'm thinking hands opportunities to count, sort , pattern would be more DAP than journaling... IMO :2cents:
     
  6. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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  7. preteach

    preteach Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2013

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Aug 13, 2013

    Welcome preteach! If you go with this be sure to share any ideas you come up with. There are A LOT of these on TeachersPayTeachers but this one is free :). This started because I was looking at the Florida standards for 4 year olds and I realized i have to teach 3D shapes. Since I teach using themes I wasn't sure how I was going to do this so I like the idea of math journals making sure Im teaching them all the skills they need to know.
     
  9. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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  10. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I don't think I have had exposure, experience of knowledge of these kinds of journals, or how they work or what I think of them. I need some basic information to make a judgement.
     
  11. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Aug 14, 2013

    wyvern. Im not thinking of anything too complicated. For example it might be color the pencils in an "ababab" pattern. Or draw a triangle. Or maybe a simple addition problem. I'm thinking of doing it in small groups based on ability, then later discuss it as a group, what's the answer and how did we get there. I don't have a math series and I'm trying to make sure my VPK kids meet all their goals which can be tough with the majority of my time being theme teaching.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I guess I have 3 questions/concerns/opinions:

    1. I really feel children learn best by doing and they need to be using manipulatives and understanding basic concepts that way before doing any journaling or worksheets to gain real understanding.

    2. Maybe your group is different than mine, but many of mine will start the year not being able to do what you are asking. They don't have the fine motor skills or experience. Drawing a triangle, for example, is hard for many children this age! Many don't have the representational drawing skills or writing skills to do what you ask and I am afraid they will feel like failures. At least with open-ended journals they can feel proud of whatever they drew, or represented, depending upon the stage they are in, and can grow from there, rather than feeling they aren't capable of the task.

    3. I don't understand the way you seem to do themes. Why isn't there time for basics like math? For examples in an ocean theme you can have them sort shells, count shells, pattern with shells, etc. etc. Also, just because you are thematic doesn't mean every activity you do has to match the theme. You can and should still do all the basics - science, math, writing, motor skills, etc. whether or not it matches the theme.
     
  13. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Aug 14, 2013


    I don't think Im asking too much. First of all, most of my kids have been in child care since they were babies and this center seems to push academics. Second, Im not asking for a perfect triangle, more for them just to try and for them to understand the concept of the triangle having three sides.

    The way Im thinking of journals will not be "worksheets" but will also include manipulatives. If they need help with patterns, lets pull out unifix cubes or colored cubes to help. Shapes - lets pull out pattern blocks or wood blocks. Thats why I want to do them in small groups instead of a whole class so I can slow down if I need to.

    Oh I do themes that include math. We do lots of measuring, graphing, patterning, etc. I just feel that there are some concepts in the VPK list of standards that don't lend themself well to themes well enough to be taught often enough to give my students a good understanding of them so I'd like to be able to supplement.


    Going to try, won't know if it works or not if I don't try!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2013

    Just my opinion...the patterning with cubes shouldn't be 'if they need help'...it SHOULD BE WHAT THEY DO FOR MATH. If you want something 'on paper' you could have cut out shapes of different colors and ave them create and glue a pattern of their own...labeling patterns ABAB could be confusing for kids who are just starting to ecognize and use letters in an emergent literacy context.
    Maybe if you listed your VPK standards, we could better understand what your kids are expected to learn and we could perhaps offer some ideas for hands on, developmentally appropriate activities.
     
  15. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I see. Both of those skills would be too high for a group like I work with , but I see your idea. I think I'd be better off just having a page and then creating the journal later.
     
  16. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I think your end goal is great and it seems like you have great intentions and a lot of teaching experience. However, it does seen that the standards and "pushing academics" at the center are definitely not developmentally appropriate for a typical preschooler, but you can't help either one of those things. I think what you can help is not doing something that is more appropriate for a kinder or 1st grade kiddo. Instead of math journals, you could do literacy and math small groups. Forget the journal aspect, just focus on the skill you are trying to teach and figure out how to do it in a more hands on way. Even if a child has been in child care forever, it doesn't always mean that they are ready for higher level skills. I think doing a journal is great for preschoolers, but in a way that is more open ended. You can also set up your math center with materials for students to explore based on the standard you're working on. Don't worry too much about matching everything to a theme. Sometimes I make a theme to match my skill, like we might do a whole week about "patterns" or a week of "rhyming". I think you want the best for your students, just make sure that you teach them like a preschooler learns :)
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I just keep thinking of the research cited by Jo Boaler from Stanford in which she refers to a high percentage of 5 year olds who ENTER kindergarten with a negative fixed mindset about math.:( keep it fun. You can deliver the standards ( even if they are not DAP) in developmentally appropriate ways.:2cents:
     
  18. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Aug 14, 2013

    I had journals, and I had math in my old program. When I needed to check off a skill that said that the child could do an ababab pattern I would pull a sheet of plain paper, cut colors or use stamps or something "themey" and have the child show me Red, Blue, Red, Blue and so on. I didn't call them ABABABAB except right when we were headed for kinder I would say that kinder used ABABAB as a short cut for saying Red, Blue, Red, Blue and so on.

    Anyway, the pattern page would be pulled and put in the binder for the child. It was this same portfolio that went to the kinder interview.

    Did that make sense?

    We used the journal for random musing, story summaries and what not.....sometimes there were grown up summaries of stories other times only the child's writing. It was less of an assignment more of a continuing work.

    Does that make sense?
     
  19. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I think there are lots of ways to do DAP math activities. I believe that if you made a journal that was just one number to look at and that book went home with the proviso that it be a parent/child activity, it could be a DAP activity. Because the child could be showing the parent what they know, from what they made and reinforce the activity by learning it with the parent.
     
  20. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I taught VPK for 3 years. I would not do the journaling that you are asking about. It is not appropriate for this age group. You mentioned the standard on 3d shapes.. Check out this lesson http://www.fldoe.org/earlylearning/pdf/ShapesAroundLP.pdf
    Kids need hands on learning experiences at this age. They would much rather see things in real life or make patterns with things that interest them instead of being told to sit down and write a triangle. Most of my VPK kids also attended child are since they were young and probably 80% of them did not have the skills entering VPK to draw a triangle. Worksheets are not supported by VPK, and aren't supposed to be used in the classroom, including handwriting paper. Journals can be done if they are open ended and promote the children's creativity. I agree with a previous poster who suggested making things for the kids to cut out and glue. They are getting the hands on learning and able to show their parents what they are learning.
     
  21. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I tried math journals with my grade 1s and they found it challenging - it had to be highly structured and teacher directed. I can't imagine doing it with preschoolers!

    Let's talk about your goal here - you want them to understand that triangles have 3 sides. What about these activities:

    1. Go on a shape hunt and find triangles throughout the room
    2. Create triangles using playdough or wiki stix
    3. Draw triangles in sand, shaving cream or paint
    4. On large mural paper draw triangles with markers

    All 4 of these activities would be appropriate with preschoolers and would cover the concept you are trying to teach. With anecdotal records and observation you'll know quickly who recognizes a triangle and who doesn't. ;)
     

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