It’s not always easy to integrate mathematics into the early childhood classroom. Perusing the Common Core Standards for math can be a bit daunting, even when you’re teaching three- and four-year-olds. However, when you stop to think about all of the ways you’re already using math in your daily routine, it becomes a lot simpler.
During most early childhood circle times, the calendar is covered. This not only reinforces a sense of understanding of the year, each month, and the days of the week, but also gives your students a chance to look at numbers (at least numbers 1 through 31) and put them in sequential order.
The daily weather report is not only a daily science lesson and a way to increase your students’ awareness of the world around them, but also a great opportunity for students to practice graphing skills. By having the students make a pictograph or bar graph of the types of weather they are observing each day, they will have an early introduction to graphing.
Days of School
The Hundredth Day of School celebration is nothing new to most pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and other early elementary classrooms’ annual calendars, but doing simple math operations with the days of school is a great way to introduce addition to early childhood students.
Even helping your students take attendance can be a daily lesson in math. Counting their classmates not only reinforces basic counting, but (especially early in the year) helps them learn each other’s names.
During transitional times, such as lining up to go to the playground or even lining up to wash hands prior to mealtimes, you can call students in groups of two or three, having them count themselves. It also introduces students to skip-counting early on.