Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Math Fluency In An Outdoor Program

Math Fluency In An Outdoor Program

This past year I focused on the core concepts in Kindergarten math using three primary access points; counting jar routine, daily math partner play and story problems. Our circle times were also infused with opportunities for the children to build numeracy through games, songs, read aloud, small group work and math talk.

Although I do reference many math and literacy activities in my book Outside Our Window: developing a primary nature program I wanted to share some new activities that we do outdoors and a few of our indoor math activities.

Counting Jar Framework provided the children with regular opportunities to count objects, develop counting strategies like organizing, skip counting, touch and count, conservation and adding on. The children had access to counting mats to help with organization, subitizing and skip counting. Some examples were five and ten frames, repurposed milk cups, egg cartons, dot cards and hand prints. I provided jars with different numbers of objects and time to count. Over the year, I added more jars and increased the quantity while increasing the amount of time dedicate to counting each week.

Math Partner Play is a regular part of our kindergarten day and easily flows inside out. While providing the children with experiences to build social skills they also work on fluency in the core concepts; patterning subitizing and partitioning.

The children copied, extended and built their own patterns during math play with the materials being refreshed regularly.  In the forest the children used leaves, sticks, stones, shells and seeds for pattern play. The forest pattern play was so open ended the children began to used the same object but positioning it differently to create the pattern encouraging flexible thinking.

To build fluency with subitizing, many of the math games included using dot patterns like Find It & Dot Bingo from Carole Fullerton, domino games as well as board games which used dot cards or dice. We would bring our dot cards to the nature classroom and the children would collect nature loose parts to play the game or we would bring a basket of loose part with us to ensure that we had lots of resources.

We had so much fun with partitioning found it one of the easiest to adapt for the forest or seashore. Some of the math games included hand and cup games where the partner had to guess how many were missing from Math Their Way,  adding towers, number bags (from Suzanne Dodd, SD68) and number challenges which required the children to roll a die or turn over a number card to compose/decompose the number of objects i.e. blocks, pine cones, shells, stones... 


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