Intoducing numbers to 2/3 year olds

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by anna9868, Feb 22, 2009.

1. anna9868Habitué

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Feb 22, 2009

Well, I have to start introducing numbers of my 2/3 year olds. I know many teachers in our center have been doing it for a while.
I'm wondering if any one has interesting ideas on how to do that. I know my children (4 of them) are not all ready for it. One boy doesn't know colors yet, and the attention span in my group is also not great.

So, when I try to "sneak in" counting, like, let's say a child is playing with a few dinosaurs and I would say "Let's see how many dinosaurs we have here, 1,2,3" By the end of the phrase I loose the child, I guess he is not interested in counting those dinosaurs, he wants to play with them!

Other than that, I read them a 1,2 Buckle your shoe book.
Oh, just remembered, we should have cut outs in shape of numbers for playdough, I should try those.

3. AlesiaCompanion

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Feb 22, 2009

Have you tried songs and finger plays (five little monkeys, five little ducks)?

4. WaProviderFanatic

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Feb 22, 2009

ok, well don't make your counting quite so obvious to the 2/3 that isn't interested and is residing in a class that also resists the structure of circle time.

lets say, you are observing and he is playing near you in the dino area. you are sitting quietly, not jumping in to direct play. you notice he has lined up a few dinos (that is an age approp expression of number concepts growing). Don't announce that you are going to work on numbers by saying "lets count:". Keep it sneaky-er. Simply state, "oh, those three dinos look like they are looking for something." You snuck in three, and he lined them up. Let him get used to you being there. Then you can say things later like "those three dinos look like they wish they had some friends to me. Here is one more, he is lonely. Can he play with your three and then you would have 4, 4 friends." There is a lot of numbering going on.

Then if you were to have a group at some point-making a game of the numbers is fun. dice out of a square tissue box are huge and cool. You could have dice spots or numerals, or you could have them on top of each other. Then you roll the dice and say in an excited voice-3 jumps. They will be allowed to choose the activity as time goes along so that you say "larry, what should we do when we see a number? arm flaps? great. the number is 3, 3 arm flaps."

But that is a little later.

5. WaProviderFanatic

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Feb 22, 2009

For short timers, I have dropped 5 monkeys to 3 monkeys and so on.

6. sevenplusConnoisseur

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Feb 22, 2009

How about some gross motor stuff? Hopping 5 times, etc? You can start with counting and then add the numerals themselves and have the hop onto the numbers as they count.

Just because a child doesn't know colors, I'm not sure I'd say he isn't "ready" for numbers. Exposure should start even earlier than 2/3 as far as I'm concerned.

Do you do any crafts? Involving numbers and counting comes naturally with those, too.

Snack time? "You can have two graham crackers..."

7. anna9868Habitué

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Feb 22, 2009

Yes, I usually try to do at least 1 number song when I have circle time. However, I don't see any of the children repeating any numbers after me.
Well, they are not big on participation in songs in general, that's why I'm never sure if they are listening or not, getting something out of it or not

8. AlesiaCompanion

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Feb 22, 2009

With children it may seem like they are not listening, but they really are picking up things that you say to them and remembering things that you do with them.

9. WaProviderFanatic

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Feb 22, 2009

I assume based on your post above someone in your program wanted to know what you are doing for numbers. Remember all of those tatics to tell the person what you are doing not assume that you are doing it wrong. If you are doing a finger rhyme and you are talking about it at dino time and you are doing project things and talking and you are talking about how many trikes there are outside so you need to share-that is all working one the math stuff. Just tell the nay-sayer with confidence that you are working on it-and list some of the ways.

Continuing to grow is good-and keep coming here for tips-but know we don't do things that are magical and somehow better. Just keep going. You will do fine.

10. anna9868Habitué

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Feb 22, 2009

Wow, that's nice when people actually remember your previous questions!

Actually, this time I'm the one who keeps reminding myself I see what other teachers of 2 year olds do with their kids, and I often ask myself why I don't do this or that.
Actually, numbers is part of our program, only everybody in the management is so-o-o busy lately, that they don't have time to check in

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Feb 22, 2009

Learning how to count and understanding numbers is not a skill for 2/3's. But, you can give them some pre-number understanding. Using number names in normal conversation is a good exposure for this age group. I would work on numbers 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 only. As Wa, said, have only 3 monkies on the bed. The children are able to rote learn 1-2-3, as you keep repeating it. It is important for them to learn the words of counting.

12. WaProviderFanatic

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Feb 22, 2009

Yep, short timers get 1-2-3. It is a place to start. Don't be fooled by the "others" sometimes kids learn party tricks to pass a test, but you will be doing concepts.

Sometimes it looks like you aren't doing anything-but in the end the children really understand things when you have done concepts. Just keep telling yourself what you are doing. I used to keep a page in my doc folder that had math,science, language and so on. When we did pre reading we made a check under language, pre math we made a check under math. no matter how small if it happened we made a check. by the end of the day you will be suprised how much has a check.

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Feb 23, 2009

I agree with Wa, you are doing much more than you realize. Pre-Math, Pre-Reading, Pre-Writing are all taught daily by playing, singing, reading, fingerplays, and simple conversation.

Don't let what the other teachers are doing intimidate you. Rote learning is not the same. You might find a study of Piaget interesting, as it tells you at what age to teach what concepts.

14. WaProviderFanatic

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Feb 23, 2009

Never under-estimate the power of conversation

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Feb 23, 2009

It is a shame that we still have to come up for justifications for what toddler/pre-k programs do on a regular basis that encompass so many skills Remember too concepts like "give/take just one" and "more than" (Put into groups 1 car and 3 cars ask which has more) are pre-math skills. Songs that count by rote are also important skills. All these usually come before 1 to 1 correspondence.

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