This week, the older Zoomlians have been off in the morning at Shakespeare Camp (run by my favorite Horsewoman). This year they're doing Much Ado About Nothing, to be capped by a Free-for-All performance in the park. They are having a marvelous time, and I'm having extra time to focus on the younger Zoomlians!
We've been doing math!
One fun thing has been Baby Teddy Bear Teeter-Totter. In this game, all the cute baby teddy bears like each other, but they have special friends. I set out groups of special friends, and these special friends have to stay together. Meanwhile, the teeter-totter has to balance.
We started out with four groups of special friends, with 1, 2, 3, and 4 bears, but we quickly moved up to five, six, or even seven groups of varying numbers.
We've also done some patterning with the bears, although it quickly turned into Cute Little Baby Teddy Bear Armies ... of Doom!
I have gotten interested in a concept called subitizing, the ability to recognize groups of numbers without counting them, a foundational math concept. I had found a bunch of different subitzing games and activities on the Internet, and I also ended up making this one of my own.
It's basically a memory game. I printed out two blank grids and added dots. One sheet has dots in the "dice" configuration, and the other has the dots in a random, unrepeated order. I started with the dice grid and covered the squares with pieces of construction paper. From there on, it was played like Memory, and for each match, they got a jewel. When they were quick with the regular "dice" arrangements, I moved on to the randomly placed dots.
They really like this, and it's great for building number concept. The key is to show them the dots briefly: you don't want them to count, just "know" the number. Here's a good site for younger kids.