Learn Every Day - Kaplan Early Learning

Learn Every Day - Kaplan Early Learning
Clarisssa Willlis, PhD Http://www
w.Clarisssawillis..com [email protected]
m The mission
o a quality curric
culum sh
hould be a streng
oach, tha
at is designed in a way th
hat respe
ects individual
ences, honors ev
very child
d’s culture, and rrecognizzes that
y membe
ers are equal
parrtners in a child’ss educatiion.
Literaccy, matth, sciennce,
ocial stu
udies, aand
e arts in
n each unit
Experieences thhat
enccouragee exploration and
Activitiees desiggned foor m u l t i s e n s o r y
Researcch-basedd, deveelopmeentally approppriate
ents tha
at supp
port all learneers
1 Th
he ultim
mate go
oal of liiteracyy instrucction iss to
nsure that all childre
en are ssuccesssful wh
ormal re
eading instruc
ction be
egins. T
The lite
nces in a quallity currriculum
m are built into
large gro
oup, sm
mall gro
oup, an
nd learn
ning ce
Listeening SkillsS
stening iss the foun
ndation fo
or all
cy develo
opment. Research
h has sho
own that tthe more
en are sp
poken to and listened to, th
he better listening
skills they will develop. As children learn
n to listen for detaiils,
priorittize the in
nformation they he
ear, follow
w directio
ons, listen
n to
stories, and pa
articipate in conve
ersations they further deve
listeniing skills..
Orall Langu
uage Deevelopm
ment-Thhe key coomponennts
of ora
al languag
ge are vo
ocabularyy and app
propriate grammar.
The size
of a child’s
ocabularyy is one of the besst predicto
of how
w succes
ssful a rea
ader that child will become
uilding op
es incorp
porated daily durin
p discussiion or wh
hile singin
ng or liste
ening to sstories an
poems enable teachers
s to proviide intenttional and
d purpose
Letteer Kno
owledgee and R
knowlledge inv
volves the
e ability to
o recognize all 26
6 letters o
the alphabet in
n both up
ppercase and lowe
ercase fo
orms and to
underrstand tha
at letters are the ffoundatio
on of all w
words. Ass
g children
n learn to see lette
ers as ind
components th
hat can be organizzed in ma
any wayss, they
me more fluent sp
peakers a
and more active lissteners.
2 4.
Print Awareness-Print awareness evolves as children
are exposed to print throughout their daily lives. As children
develop the knowledge that printed words move from left to
right and from top to bottom, and that print has many
functions they build their print awareness skills. These
functions include labeling items, creating lists, conveying
information, telling stories based on books, and recognizing
environmental print.
cy | 5
Phonological Awareness- Phonological awareness is
sensitivity to sound. It includes recognition that sounds are
the same and different, onomatopoeia words, match rhyming
word pairs, and identifying the repetitive sound in an
alliterative phrase or sentence.
Alliteration — Repetition of a consonant sound in a series
of words, such as, “Terry Tiger treated Timothy Turtle to a
tasty tidbit.” Children are able to hear the repetition of the /t/
sound, but do not necessarily need to identify that the
sound is made by the letter t.
Onomatopoeia — Identifying words that sound like what
they describe, for example, pitter-patter, moo, quack, beep,
and so on.
Rhyming words — Recognizing words with the same
ending sound.
Segmentation — Breaking words into their component
Sound discrimination — Hearing the similarities and
differences in sounds.
Comprehension- As children have an opportunity to
retell stories in their own words, act out stories, and listen to
stories that are not accompanied by illustrations, they
develop comprehension. Comprehension is enhanced as
children use higher-level thinking skills, make applications,
conduct analyses, experiment with synthesis, and make
evaluations. In addition, understanding how authors describe
settings, develop characters, and organize the storyline
helps young children craft their own stories. 3 Th
he matth activ
vities fo
ocus on
n more than ju
etry, an
s, opera
ations, geome
ement. In keeping w
with the
on of th
he Natiional C
Council of
eacherrs of Ma
atics (N
NCTM), algeb
bra and
ata ana
alysis are
a to be
b wove
en into
o all acttivities.
bra at the preschool level m
means ch
hildren are
oping skiills that help them think and reason
n about
Activitties such
h as manipulating pattern b
blocks, making the
own patterns,
g objectss accordin
ng to a ru
ule, and
recognizing pa
atterns they obserrve in the
e environm
ment help
en learn to solve problems
s mathem
Emerrging geo
ometry sk
kills are e
ed as chiildren
identiffy object attributes
s, develo
op their m
ment skillss,
and create a fo
n for data
a analysiss.
As children collect and sort item
ms by their attributtes, they are
learning a key component of the
e ability to
o represe
ent, analyyze,
and in
nterpret mathema
tical data
a. 4 Th
he scien
nce compone
ent in a qualityy curricculum
should be
e desig
gned to
o ensurre that childre
ntering kinderg
garten will ha
ave a w
ge about the natural
l world, includ
nderstanding cause
and efffect; re
ecognition of
ome of the diffference
es betw
ween animate
e and
e objec
cts; a basic
dge of tthe wayys
in which people
e’s belie
efs, goals, an
nd desires affe
ehavior; and a rudim
mentaryy underrstandin
ng of
ces and
d their propert
he curricu
ulum mus
st include
e concep
pts that arre related
d to
cientific elements
introduced in a quality currriculum
include the
e followin
the sc
cientific method
a worrking know
wledge th
hat germss can transmit dissease the life
e cycle of
o a plant how animals
a peoplle grow a
and develop acrosss time opporrtunities to particip
pate in sim
mple, devvelopmen
opriate sc
cientific ex
nts increa
asing opp
portunities to ask iinformatio
on seekin
questions of ad
dults dev
velop theiir sc i
5 So
ocial studie
es permeates the preschool
classroom, from le
earning ab
s and com
mmunity he
elpers to e
n terms off
exploring identity in
mily, cultu
ure, and co
y. Prescho
oolers beg
gin their ssocial stud
s as they examine
es, their fa
amilies, and their
ed as theyy
The natural curiosity of preschool-age cchildren is enhance
begin formin
ng relation
nships outside of th
heir own fa
families an
nd exploriing
e world arround them
m. While social
studies invollves learn
ning aboutt the
orld and its
s people, it also lea
ads to the
e developm
ment of a strong
social–emottional center as children beg
gin to take
e on the pe
ming activ
ve particip
pants in th
he larger w
world in
of others, while becom
hich they live.
he expec
cted outc
comes fro
om child
dren partticipating
g in the
eative ac
ctivities within
he curric
culum inc
 develop
ping the imagina
ation whiile refinin
ng probllem-solv
and crittical-thin
nking skiills
ering a sense
of craftsma
anship, q
quality ta
mance, and goal setting—
ant skills
s for
g learning
sing self--confiden
nce and self-disc
cipline b
imaginiing whatt might be
acceptiing respo
y to com
mplete tas
sks from
m start to
the nurrturing off values,, includin
ng team--building
g skills a
respectting alterrnative viewpoin
nts. 6 Principles outlin
ned by th
he Nation
nal Asso
ociation fo
or the Ed
n of
Young Children
C) as be
eing crucial comp
ponents o
of best
These principle
s are summarize
ed as folllows:
All domains (physicall, social, emotional
, and cognitive) are
interconnected and im
mpacted by
b what ta
akes place
e in the otthers.
nt moves toward a greater ccomplexityy, self-regulation, and
mbolic or representational ca
onsistent relationsh
ips with re
e adults a
and opporttunities fo
positive inte
eractions with
w peers
s help chilldren reacch their m
inffluences learning.
The role of culture
ecause children learn in man
ny differen
nt ways, a wide range of
aching me
ethods is required.
g social–e
emotional skills, lan
nguage, an
Play is imporrtant for developing
ving strate
e learning environm
ment shou
uld be cha
allenging b
because cchildren le
st when th
hey have multiple
ies to pracctice what they learn.
ands-on le
earning is meaningfful.
e experien
nces child
dren have shape their motiva
ation, as w
well as the
havior. 7 Specia
al Need
n with spe
ecial nee
eds learn best in settings w
with their ttypically
ping peers
Dual Langua
age Lea
arners (DLLs)
unities ex
xist for children wh
ho do nott speak E
English ass their na
onse to Interve
ention (RTI)
Response to Inte
ervention (RTI) is a strateg
gy used to
o provide
e learning
opportunities for students
s who are
e at risk fo
or academic failurre. This iss
especially importtant in terms of ea
arly literacy, as research in
literacy is the strongest single predictor of success in acade
emics as w
as socia
al develop
pment. For studen
nts in you
ur classro
oom who are not
g early lite
eracy mile
estones, the Nem
mours Brig
ghtStart! The
Complete Progra
am for Ea
arly Litera
acy Succcess is a rrecomme
nion for an
ny curricu
ded Learning
ment and other tips
s for enha
ancing th
he learnin
ng for children who
need a more
allenging environm
ment. 8 9
Learn Every Day
about Numbers
Unit Overview: The children will experiment with and discover the
many ways people use numbers in their daily lives. They will understand that whole things can be divided into parts and then reassembled into the whole again. They will learn how to make and
interpret simple bar graphs.
� sort
� count
� set
� more
� fewer
� part
� whole
� half
� equal
� same
Objectives for This Unit
Arts & Creativity
Cognitive Skills
Personal Health &
Science Constructs
Social & Emotional
Social Studies
The child will
� Show growing creativity and imagination in
using materials and in dramatic play
� Seek multiple solutions to solve a problem;
� Use past knowledge to build new knowledge.
� Use vocabulary related to numbers, size, and
so forth.
� Identify his name in print;
� Identify the letters in his name.
� Recognize number and quantity in everyday
� Use a variety of strategies related to numbers
such as comparisons, sets, and graphs;
� Combine items based on similar attributes;
� Be introduced to the concept of fractions.
� Continue to participate in active outdoor
games involving running, skipping, hopping,
and jumping.
� Observe and discuss common properties.
� Work cooperatively in groups.
Develop a growing understanding of position
in space, geographical location, and direction.
Keep in mind that dual language learners can be most successful if they
learn and confirm basic concepts in their home languages, to build on prior
knowledge. The names of numbers and other vocabulary in English can
come later. Studies show that once a concept is learned well in one language, children are generally successful in transferring the knowledge to the
new language. Use your knowledge of the other language to help you make
sure the child can show she understands the needed math concepts before
moving to English.
Resources for the Teacher
Learn Every Day about Numbers edited by Kathy Charner
Math in Minutes: Easy Activities for Children 4–8 by Sharon MacDonald
Books to Read to Children
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Graphs by Bonnie Bader. This book is advanced for four-year-olds, but it
will give you several good ideas for things to graph.
Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert
Use Your Eye, Let’s Classify! by Kelly Doudna
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
“Crayon Song,” Learn Every Day music CD by Sharon MacDonald
“Five Round Pizzas,” Learn Every Day music CD by Sharon MacDonald
Create free online graphs here:
Teaching with Collections in Your Classroom. Smithsonian Center for Education
and Museum Studies. Available at http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/
Special Needs Adaptations
Special Need
Visual Impairments
Cognitive Delays
Motor Delays
Behavior Issues
To help the child understand the purpose behind the
activity, write out several names on a piece of paper
attached to a tabletop easel. Ask the child to point
to the longest name and the shortest name. (See
Lesson 3, Literacy Center.)
Before inviting the child to compare the length of his
name with a peer, model the activity once for him
using your name. Use gestures to point out the
longest name. (See Lesson 3, Literacy Center.)
Demonstrate for the child what you mean by long
and short. Encourage the child to show things in the
classroom that are longer than or shorter than other
objects. Talk about the differences.
Instead of Scrabble™ letters, which may be too
difficult for the child to manipulate, use large
magnetic letters and a cookie sheet. Tell the child to
invite a friend, so the two of them can compare their
names with the magnetic letters on the cookie sheet
to see which one is longer. (See Lesson 3, Literacy
Center and Lesson 5, Graphing.)
Demonstrate for the child how to compare the
number of letters in her name with those in her
friend’s name. Encourage the child to count aloud
the number of letters in her name. If necessary,
review the concepts of long and short with the child
before she begins the activity.
Working collaboratively with a peer can be very
challenging. Before asking the child to work with a
peer, review the rules of cooperative work. For
example, say, “Take a turn, wait for your friend to
have a turn, be kind, speak softly…” and so forth.
Things to Prepare
Materials Needed
� Black circles (30 per
� Black construction
� Cardboard squares
� Cherry-sized red circles
(55 per child)
� Clipart fireflies (10 per
child, laminated)
� Craft sticks (10 per
� Envelopes or zippered
plastic bags (one per
� Index cards (11 per
� Leaves
� Medium-sized sticks
for mobiles
� Straws, seeds, stones,
� String
� Stuffed bear (Corduroy)
Featured Book(s)
� Corduroy by
Don Freeman
� Pie in the Sky by
Lois Ehlert
� The Very Lonely Firefly
Gather 10 clipart fireflies per child, laminated
Gather 11 index cards per child
Gather 55 cherry-sized red circles per child
Make ant hats (if desired)
Collect buttons for Corduroy in the home living center
Collect home living items
Make sets of matching number cards 1 to 5
Find pictures of items that come in sets of 2, 5, 8, 10, and 12 (socks, shoes,
buns, eggs, fingers, toes, etc.)
Provide materials for set of counting ants (children make in art)
Large Group
As the children gather for large group, say (in a very excited voice), “How many of you
can count to 10? Let’s count to 10 together!” Continue with different objects and
quantities: “How many fingers do we have? Let’s count together! Let’s count the number of windows we see!” When the children feel comfortable, begin to introduce
simple addition. “Let’s count the fingers on one hand! Good, there are five! Now if we
wanted to hold up eight fingers, how many more would we need?” Or, “This morning,
my mommy gave me three kisses, but I wanted six kisses. How many more do I need
to get?” After practicing, ask the children if they can think of objects that come in sets
of 10 (fingers, toes, hot dogs). Do they know of any objects that come in twos (socks,
gloves), eights (hamburger buns, hot dog buns), or by the dozen (eggs, donuts)? Show
pictures of the items as the children mention them (it’s hard to predict the things the
children will think of, so have a lot of different pictures on hand).
Transition Tip
Number the children one through five (modify for the number of centers), and dismiss them by number, starting with number five.
by Eric Carle
Small Group
Featured Song(s)
Read a book about fireflies, such as The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle. Find clipart
of fireflies and print 10 fireflies for each child in the class. Laminate and store the
fireflies in an envelope or zippered plastic bag. Give each child a bag of fireflies and
a sheet of black construction paper (to represent the night sky). Ask the children to
� “The Ants Go
make sets of varying numbers of fireflies per your instruction. Remind them to make
their sets on the black paper. Ask them to make a set of one, then two, then
three, then four, and then five fireflies. When they have five fireflies
in their sets, ask them to add two more fireflies and tell you how
many are in the set now. Continue adding fireflies until all 10 are
in the set. Ask the children to count to be sure they have all their
fireflies. Finally, ask the children to show you a set of zero fireflies
on the black paper. The children should remove all of their fireflies, leaving the paper empty.
Center Time
Art Center
Invite the children to make 10 ants to use for singing and counting. Provide 10
craft sticks per child. Provide a detailed picture of an ant, and show the children
the three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen). Encourage the children to glue
three black circles onto their craft sticks to represent the ant’s body. Let them use
thin markers to create faces on the top section of each ant. Number the ants 1
through 10. Store the ants in individual plastic bags and encourage the children to use them when singing and counting to the “Ants Go Marching” song.
Take a walk outside to collect leaves. Ask the children to count their individual collections, and then add the totals together to get a group total. Ask
the children to sort their leaves and create sets of similar shapes. Compare the
sets. Encourage the children to classify them by color. Compare the sets again.
Provide medium-size sticks, cardboard squares, glue, and string. Invite the children to glue their sets of leaves onto the cardboard squares, then use the string
and stick to create a mobile. They could classify their sets by shape, texture, color,
size, or similarity. Note: For children with acute allergies, use artificial leaves.
Home Living Center
Ask the children to find a certain numbers of items as they naturally play in the
center. For example, have them find four spoons, four forks, four plates, and four
cups to set the table. Count the number of baby dolls and ask the children to find
enough bottles so each baby doll can have one. How many do they need to find?
Make simple addition problems by saying, “We have two bananas, but we need
four. How many more do we need to find?”
Provide a stuffed Corduroy toy in the center. Read Corduroy by Don Freeman. As
you read, point out how Corduroy has a missing button. Say, “Corduroy should
have two buttons, but he has only one. How many buttons does he need to find?”
Provide a single die and have the children roll it and count the number of dots on
the side that lands on top. Invite the children to use double-sided tape to add that
many buttons to the stuffed Corduroy’s overalls.
Literacy Center
Make sets of matching number cards of the numbers 1 through 5. Encourage the
children to match the numbers, read the number, trace it with their finger, and say
the number out loud.
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Read Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert. Provide 55 red, cherry-sized paper circles for
each child, along with 11 index cards. Help the children print their names on
one index card to serve as a cover for the book. Turn to the first card and
have the children trace the number 1 at the bottom and glue on one paper
cherry. On the next card, they should trace the number 2 and glue on two
paper cherries, and so on, until they have 10 cherries on the last card. If the
children want, they can glue a picture of a cherry pie on the front cover, or
they can draw their own pie. Bind the cards together into books, and read the
books together.
Math Center
Give the children sets of straws, seeds, stones, or any material available in the
room. Ask questions such as the following:
How many red straws are there in the bundle? blue straws? Which set of straws has
more? How can you find out?
How many watermelon seeds are there? how many bean seeds? Which has fewer, the
watermelon or the beans? Which has more?
How many toy horses are there? how many toy cows? Which set has more? Which
has fewer?
How many sets are big in number, and how many are small in number?
Remind the children that they can always count the items in the sets to find the
answers to the questions.
Use the ant counters from the art center activity to engage the children in additional math activities. Ask the following questions, and encourage the children to
find the answers:
Home Stretch
Ask the families to
help the children
count items around
the home. How
many beds are in
your house? How
many cars does your
family have? How
many chairs are at
the dining room
If 10 ants march in, then five ants march out, how many ants will be left?
Three ants join five ants. How many ants are there?
Seven ants march in. Three more ants join them. How many ants are there?
Invite the children to make up their own math sentences and stories.
Music Center
Play a movement game to the song, “The Ants Go Marching.” Create ant hats by
adding black antennae (chenille stems) to black painter’s caps. Encourage the
children to act out the song by marching in a circle according to the number (one
by one, two by two, three by three, and so forth).
Closing Circle
Ask the children to count by rote to 10, count up to 10 objects, and answer a simple
addition word problem, such as: “I have two quarters, but the toy I want to buy costs
six quarters. How many more quarters do I need?”
Lesson 1: Counting
Sets and Classifying
Things to Prepare
Collect crayon holders to decorate
Create index cards (numbers 1 to 12)
Gather manipulatives or objects for counting
Large Group
Materials Needed
� Chart paper and marker
� Collections of similar
items (blocks, counters,
� Index cards
� Music instruments
� Paper plates
� Small paper lunch bags
Featured Song(s)
� “Down By the Music
� Learn Every Day music
CD, “Crayon Song,”
Track 7
Call the children to large group by clearly definable criteria. Say, “I need all the girls—
only the girls—to come to large group.” After the girls have gathered, say, “Now, I
need the boys—all boys please come to large group.” After the boys have gathered,
keep the children separated by having them sit in small groups: boys on one side and
girls on the other. Say, “Usually, we all sit in a big circle at large group, but today, you
are sitting in sets. A set is a group or collection of things that belong together or
resemble each other. Can you tell me how these two sets (indicate the boys and girls)
belong together?” If the children do not think of it, lead them to the conclusion that
the one set is all girls while the other is all boys. Say, “When we divide or sort things
by what they have in common, we are classifying them. That means we arrange them
according to a shared quality—something they have in common. This set (point to
the girls) is made up of girls; that is what they have in common. This set (point to the
boys) is made up of boys; that is what they have in common. Now, let’s classify our
sets by something else, like a color in your shirts.”
Have everyone stand up, and ask them to look at their shirts to determine the colors.
Choose two colors that are prevalent in the children’s clothing. Place a color marker
(a sheet of construction paper) on the floor on either side of the large group area. Say,
“If your shirt has some red in it, please go stand by the red paper. If your shirt has
some blue in it, please go stand by the blue paper.” Assist the children in determining
to which set they belong. If some of the children have
both colors in their shirts, choose the most outstanding color. Ask, “How did this way of classifying change our sets? Yes, now there are
boys and girls in both sets and the sets are different sizes. When we sort and classify in
different ways, we end up with different
sets. What other ways could we classify the
group to end up in different sets?” Encourage the children to brainstorm ways to sort
the group. Try out any ideas they think of, such
as classifying by shoe type, shorts versus long
pants, hair color, and eye color.
Transition Tip
Send the children to centers by sets according to certain criteria, for example: “All
children with black tennis shoes can go to centers.” Older children may be able to
respond to being asked for two criteria, such as “all girls with black tennis shoes” or
“all people with brown hair who are wearing black tennis shoes.”
Small Group
Introduce the “Crayon Song” (Track 7) from the Learn Every Day music CD.
by Sharon MacDonald
Oh I wish I had a little red jug
To put my crayons in.
I’d take them out, go scribble, scribble,
And put them back again.
Oh, I wish I had a little purple car
To put my crayons in.
I’d take them out and draw a line,
And put them back again.
Oh, I wish I had a little yellow sun
To put my crayons in.
I’d take them out, draw ’round and ’round,
And put them back again.
Oh, I wish I had a little blue cloud
To put my crayons in.
I’d take them out, go dot, dot, dot,
And put them back again.
Oh, I wish I had a little orange ball
To put my crayons in.
I’d take them out, go bounce, bounce,
And put them back again.
Oh, I’ve got myself a little green box
To put my crayons in.
I’ll take them out and count them all,
And put them back again.
Six items are mentioned in the song. Play each verse separately, then help the children
make a list of all six items. Play the song again, and invite the children to name all the
colors they hear mentioned in the song.
Lesson 2: Sets and Classifying
Center Time
Literacy Center
Place a variety of crayons, counters, and small colored blocks in the literacy center.
Invite children to first sort them by color, then by category (blocks of the same
color in one pile, crayons of the same color in another pile, and so on). Extend the
learning by inviting the children to see how many items in each group they can
Art Center
Play the “Crayon Song” again, and invite children to draw one of the crayon holders they heard about in the song. If possible provide some three-dimensional
crayon holders for them to decorate, such as a box, a clear plastic jar, a plastic
bowl, and so forth.
Music Center
Encourage the children to sort the musical instruments by varying criteria: color,
size, shape, the type of sound they produce, or how you play it. Sing this sorting song to the tune of “Down by the Station.”
Down by the music center, early in the morning,
Let’s put the round instruments all in a row.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is round.
Shake, shake, strum, strum, off we go!
Down by the music center, early in the morning,
Let’s put the percussion instruments all in a row.
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you hit or shake it.
Bang, bang, boom, boom, off we go!
Math Center
Provide counters or small blocks for the children to use as manipulatives. Take 12
index cards and write a number on each one, 1 through 12. Shuffle the index cards
and turn them upside down. Invite a child to select a card, turn it over, and then
place counters on it to correspond to the number.
Outdoor Activities Center
Label small paper lunch bags with the children’s names, and hand the bags out.
Ask the children to collect a set of objects from the playground. Tell them they can
collect anything they want, as long as it is a set. Remind them that items in a set
all have something in common. Tell them they can collect sets of unusual stones,
odd-shaped bark, dried weeds, fallen leaves, seedpods, and so on. Invite children
to take their time and explore the playground. Remind them that everyone is looking, and if they see more than one of a particular item, to please leave some for
the other children. Children love the “treasure hunt” atmosphere and are excited
over each “find.” As children discover items, talk to them about their finds.
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Encourage them to name and describe the things they find. After your collection
walk, sit together in a sunny area to do a sorting activity.
Working individually, have the children sort their objects onto paper plates or into
separate piles. First, set up a category. For example, ask children to sort all the big
things on one plate and small things on another. Place one of each type on the
plates as a guide. As children sort, help them talk about their sorting choices. Ask
them to share why they are putting something on a certain plate.
Finally, put all the objects in one big pile and sort them using other categories, such
as color or texture. Keep changing your sorting categories as long as the children
are interested. Some children may be reluctant to give up their collections; do not
force them to, but encourage them to donate a few items to the larger collection.
Home Stretch
Ask the children to
look in their homes
for a collection of
favorite toys. Invite
them to ask family
members if they
have any
collections, too.
Take the children on a collection walk during which they collect items of one color,
such as green. Remind them about being gentle with plants and trees. There is
more than one shade of green in our world, and this activity will certainly help
children see many different shades. Upon returning from the walk, ask the children
to sort the items onto paper plates. Set up the categories so there is an obvious
choice—for example, dark and light green. Then from there, ask the children to
break down their items into piles of smaller groups of shades. Together, they can
practice counting skills as they count the number in each group. Later, use the collected items in green collages on green paper.
Closing Circle
Using collections of similar items from the classroom (blocks, counters, crayons), ask
the children to work in pairs or small groups to sort 10 items by two criteria: color
and size.
Lesson 2: Sets and Classifying
Things to Prepare
Acquire stickers, beans, seeds, and shells for activities
Gather chairs for musical chairs
Write children’s names on index cards
Large Group
Explain that we compare two given sets by counting their elements. One set usually
has either more or fewer elements than the other. Start by comparing sets of children.
Say, “Who remembers the sets we made yesterday during large group? You were in the
sets!” Guide the children in remembering the sets of boys and girls. Ask the children
to arrange themselves in the same sets again, girls on one side of the large group area
and boys on the other. When the children have arranged themselves, say, “Now let’s
compare the sets. The first comparison is obvious! This set (point to the group of
boys) has fewer girls than this set (point to the group of girls) and this set (point to
the girls again) has fewer boys than this set (point to the boys).” Say, “Can you think
of any other ways to compare these two sets?” Help the children compare the sets by
another criterion, such as number. Which set has more? Which set has fewer? Tell the
children that they will have many opportunities to compare sets throughout the day.
Materials Needed
� Three to eight items
each (Legos™, Duplo™,
Lincoln Logs™, cubes)
� Blank sentence strips
� Chairs
� Play paper money
� Real or plastic coins
� Scrabble™ letters or
alphabet letter tiles
� Stickers (stars, hearts,
apples, etc.)
� Small collections of
beans, seeds, shells
� Tweezers or tongs
Featured Song(s)
� Mr. Al’s Math in Motion
� Learn Every Day music
CD, “Five Round
Pizzas,” Track 6
Transition Tip
Sort the children into sets by the number of buttons on their shirts. Say, “The set with
the most in it may choose a center.” Continue in the same manner, comparing each
subsequent set by number until all children have gone to centers.
Small Group
Tell the children that they are going to see which child has the longest name and
which child has the shortest name. Print the children’s names on index cards and ask
them to count the letters. Ask questions such as, “Which child has the longest name?
Which child has the shortest name? How many letters must a name have to consider
it a long name?” (Let the children decide.)
Give the children blank sentence strips and sheets of stickers (stars, hearts, and
apples). Ask the children to follow your directions. Say, “Make a set of four star stickers on your strip.” Offer assistance as needed to help the children complete the task.
Say, “Make a set of five heart stickers on another strip, followed by a set of three apple
stickers on another strip.” Ask the children to compare their sets. Which has more?
Which has fewer?
Center Time
Discovery Science Center
Place several small collections, such as beans, seeds, and shells, in the center.
Encourage the children to sort and compare the sets. Which collection has the
most items? Which has the fewest? How are they similar? How are they different?
Fine Motor Activities Center
Place a variety of fine motor toys on a table. Don’t put out the whole set, just three
to eight items from each. Invite the children to sort the toys into sets by type. Let
them discover for themselves which sets have more or fewer objects. For example:
three Legos™ are more than two waffle blocks; five unit blocks are less than eight
1-inch cubes; and eight Lincoln Logs™ are more than five unit blocks.
Encourage the children to sort and compare either real or
plastic coins. Add more challenge to the game by providing a pair of plastic tweezers or tongs that the children can use to pick up the coins as they are sorting
them. Compare the sets of coins the children
make. How did they decide on the sets: size?
color? pictures?
Literacy Center
Avoid a
Give the children Scrabble™ letters or alphabet letters. Help them spell their names
and compare the lengths of their names to friends’ names. See if the children want
to invent another game using the letters.*
Print the children’s names on index cards. Ask the children to sort and compare
the cards. Can they sort them by first letter? Encourage the children to sound out
their classmates’ names as they work.
Math Center
When children
have opportunities
to make choices,
they develop
positive feelings
about and
confidence in
themselves and
their ability to
make decisions.
Place several small sets of items on a table. Say, “Show me a set that has fewer
than nine items.” Encourage the children to count the items to determine which
sets have fewer than nine. Remind the children that it does not matter how many
items the set they chose has, as long as it has fewer than nine. Play a few more
rounds, asking for sets that are more or fewer than a number of your choosing.
Explain that money can be divided into sets, and the sets can be compared to each
other. Provide play paper money that resembles real money. Give the children time
to closely examine the different denominations. Point out and identify the portraits
on each bill. Encourage the children to sort the money by the portrait featured.
Explain that the larger set (all of the money) can be sorted into smaller sets by the
person featured in the portrait. Compare the sets by number. Challenge the children to find other ways to sort, classify, and compare money.
*Adapted from Inclusive Literacy Lessons for Early Childhood by Pam Schiller and Clarissa Willis, with
permission from Gryphon House, Inc., Lewisville, NC, USA
Lesson 3: Comparing
Music Center
Home Stretch
Ask families to help
the children notice
sets of items in the
home—for example,
utensils, pots and
pans, silverware,
towels, dishcloths,
and so on.
Play musical chairs. Arrange chairs (one for each child) in a row back to back. Say,
“Here is a set of chairs (indicate chairs), and here is a set of children (indicate
children). Which set has more?” Lead the children to the conclusion that the sets
are the same or equal. Invite the children to sit down. Play some math-themed
music, such as Mr. Al’s Math in Motion. Remove one chair as the children walk
around in a circle. Stop the music, and encourage the children to find a seat. What
happened? Ask the children to compare the sets again. They should come to the
conclusion that the set of children is now larger than the set of chairs. Start the
music again and invite all of the children to walk around the chairs again (no one
gets put out in this game). Remove two chairs as they walk. Stop the music and
have the children find a seat. Three children will now be left without a chair. Compare the sets again. Which has more? Which has fewer? Start the music again. Add
four chairs as the children walk. Stop the music and have all the children sit down.
Point out the empty chair and ask what happened. Have the children count to
compare the sets again and come to the conclusion that the set of chairs now has
more items than the set of children. Play a few more rounds, removing or adding
chairs to change the numbers in the sets, until the children seem to grasp the concept that you can always compare sets by counting.
Closing Circle
Play the song “Five Round Pizzas” (Track 6) on the Learn Every Day music CD. This
song was first introduced in the unit on shapes. Invite children to sing along with
the song.
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Parts and Wholes
Things to Prepare
Fill buckets of water
Fill clear jar with river stones
Gather felt pizza pieces
Mark square of grass with yarn or rope
Place river stones in dry, empty sand table
Create sample ladybug puppet
Gather slips of paper for children’s estimations
Materials Needed
� Buckets of water and
sponges (two to four)
� Black dot stickers
� Black pipe cleaners or
chenille sticks
� Chart paper and marker
or dry-erase board
� Clear jar and decorative
river stones
� Construction paper
(red, black, and white)
� Magazines and food
coupon flyers
� Magnifying glass
� Measuring cup
� Metal brads or fasteners
� Paper lunch bags
� Paper plates (small and
� Pictures of pizzas
� Scissors (child friendly)
� Slips of paper
Featured Book(s)
� The Grouchy Ladybug by
Eric Carle
Featured Song(s)
� Learn Every Day music
CD, “Five Round
Pizzas,” Track 6
Large Group
Show the children a clear plastic jar filled with decorative
river stones. Say, “Today, we are going to learn about
parts and wholes. Here we have a whole jar of river
stones.” Pass the jar around the circle and allow the children to examine it closely. Ask, “How many river stones
do you think are in the jar?” Pass around slips of paper
and help the children print their names and their estimates on them. Adult helpers should offer assistance
as needed. Tell the children that you need their help in
counting the stones. Have the children come forward and
take a handful of stones. They should find a comfortable
place to sit and count the stones they have. Tell them that
you need them to make one set of five stones. If they have
stones left over, they should return them to the jar so someone who does not have
enough stones can use them. When the children have completed their sets, tally the
results. Write “sets of 5” across the top of a dry-erase board. Make a tick mark for
each set of five in the room. Say, “Sally has a set of five (make a tick mark), Molly has
a set of five (make a tick mark), Jamaal has a set of five (make a tick mark) . . .” Continue until you have a made a tick mark for all the sets of five. Ask the children to
count the tick marks with you. Print that number at the end of the tick-mark line.
Transition Tip
Count the number of children present and do some quick math in your head (or on
a calculator) to send the children to centers in parts of a whole. For example, send
one-eighth of the class to the block center, one-eighth to the art center, and so on.
Tell the children how you are dividing up the whole group into parts.
Small Group
Play the song “Five Round Pizzas” (Track 6) from the Learn Every Day music CD. Tell
children that today you will use pretend pizza.
Have the children cut pictures of pizza out of food ads or food magazines. Try to find
pictures that show the whole pizza. Tell the children that you are very hungry, but you
are not hungry enough to eat a whole pizza, so you are going to cut your pizza into
two pieces. Provide safety scissors for the children and encourage them to cut
their pizzas also.
When cut, say, “There, now my pizza is cut in half!” Pretend to begin
to take a bite of one half, but then tell the children that half a pizza
is still too much to eat at once; therefore, you are going to cut it
Cut the halves in half and encourage the children to do to the
same. Say, “Now my pizza is cut in quarters. I have four pieces
of my whole pizza.” Assemble the pizza like a puzzle and challenge the children to do the same. Say, “I think I should cut it
into equal sections one more time!” Cut each quarter in half to
create eight pieces. Encourage the children to do the same.
Count the pieces with the children and emphasize that the whole
pizza is now cut in eight equal parts. Tell the children that their pizzas
are now cut in eighths. Hold up one of the eighths (which should now
resemble a regular pizza slice) and say, “I’m too hungry to cut this pizza
up any more. I’m going to eat it now!” Pretend to gobble up the pizza and
encourage the children to do the same. Watch carefully to make sure they do not
really put the paper in their mouths.
Center Time
Art Center
Give the children paper plates and crayons. Remind them of what they learned in
large group, and point out that the plate is a whole plate. Ask the children to draw
a line down the middle of the plate. Assist them as needed to create two equal
halves. Ask them to color one half of the plate green, but to only color half, not
the whole plate. Emphasize the word half and point out when the children are done
that their whole plate is now half colored green and half not colored. Ask the children to draw a line dividing the uncolored portion of the plate in half again. Ask
them to color the resulting areas red and yellow. When they have finished, point
out that their whole plate is now half green, one quarter yellow, and one quarter
red. Point out the sections on a sample plate as you name them.
Invite the children to draw or paint half of a ladybug on a large piece of paper;
then, fold the paper in half and press hard on it to create the symmetrical “other
half” of the insect.
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Fine Motor Activities Center
Have the children cut the plates they made in the art center activity into pieces
defined by the three colors to create a puzzle. Encourage them to reassemble the
plate and name the sections: one half, one quarter, and whole.
Have the children cut pictures of popular snacks, such as apples,
bananas, oranges, popsicles, cookies, and pretzels from magazines. Say, “If you were having this for snack and
wanted to share it with one other child, what
would you have to do?” Lead the children to
the conclusion that they would have to cut or
divide the snack into two halves. Have the
children cut the picture in half. Explain that the
whole snack is now two halves, but it is still only
one snack. This is easiest to demonstrate with the
fruit, such as the apple or banana. Repeat the activity with another snack picture.
For children who seem to be understanding the concept, extend the learning by
asking them what they would do if three children wanted to share one snack. What
if four children needed to share? To extend the learning, help them cut other snack
pictures apart to help them learn that three equal parts is thirds and four equal
parts is quarters or fourths.
Math Center
Create a ladybug by taping half a small paper plate to the edge of a large paper
plate. Cut another large plate in half and affix the halves to the top of the large
plate with a single brad to open like a real ladybug’s wings. Color the ladybug
appropriate colors and place three black dots (round stickers) on each half
of the shell. Print the number 6 on the whole paper plate so it is hidden
when the ladybug’s wings are closed but revealed when they are open.
Decorate the ladybug’s head appropriately and add black chenille
antennae if you would like.
Read a book about ladybugs, such as The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.
Begin a discussion about ladybugs’ dots. Ask, “Do all ladybugs have
the same number of dots? Are the dots always the same on each side of
their outer shell?” Show the children some ladybug pictures to help them see
the different looks of a ladybug. Tell the children, “We are going to make ladybugs
that have the same number of dots on the two sides of their outer shells. If they
have two dots on one side, they will have two dots on the other side. Try to place
the dots in the same place on both sides.” Show the children the sample ladybug
with six dots. Have students count the dots and show the number 6 underneath.
Distribute the ladybug materials for each of the children. Ask them to place a few
black dots (seven or fewer) on one of the halves of the large paper plate with a
crayon or self-sticking dots. Then they make the same number of dots on the other
half. Talk about symmetry (same design on each side). When they have finished, they
can count the total number of dots and write that number on the whole large plate.
Encourage them to decorate the ladybugs’ heads and assemble their ladybugs.
Lesson 4: Parts and Wholes
Outdoor Activities Center
Mark a square of grass and dirt with yarn or rope.
Ask the children to estimate how many bugs,
stones, leaves, and sticks they will find in the
area in five minutes. Record their estimations
on an experience chart. Give the children
paper lunch bags to collect their items in,
set a timer or start a stopwatch, and put them to work. At the
end of five minutes, have them stop collecting. Give the children paper plates or white construction paper and have them dump
out their collections. Encourage them to sort the collections into the
classifications discussed (bugs, stones, leaves, and sticks). Walk among them
and ask questions about their sets. Which has more? Which has fewer? How did
they find out?
Arrange the children into teams of four or five. (If one team has fewer members
than the others, some children on that team will participate more often than those
on the other teams.) Draw a start line for each team. Set a bucket of water and a
dry sponge at each start line. Set up an empty bucket about 50 feet from the start
line. (Vary the distance depending on the children’s abilities.) Blow a whistle to
signal the start of the sponge relay race. The first child in line dips the team’s
sponge into the bucket of water. He or she pulls out the soaking sponge, runs to
the bucket that has been set up 50 feet away, and squeezes the water out of the
sponge. Then the child runs back to the team and passes the sponge to the next
classmate in line. The game continues until time is up. At the end of the game, use
1-cup measuring cups to determine how much water each team transferred. Ask,
“Were you able to transfer the whole bucket of water? No, you only had enough
time to transfer part of the water.” Exact measurements of how much water was
transferred are not needed in this game. Vary the game by having the children run
Sand and Water Center
Home Stretch
Encourage families
to have pizza for
dinner and to talk
about whole, halves,
thirds, and fourths!
Place the river stones from the large group activity in a dry, empty sand table.
Encourage the children to examine and explore the stones. Provide a magnifying
glass so they can see the pattern of colors in the stones. Ask them which stones are
similar. Which are different from the rest? Encourage, but do not require, them to
classify the stones into sets by color, size, and weight.
Invite the children to fill a 1-cup measuring cup with stones. Have them count the
stones in the cup. Ask them to estimate how many stones will fit into ½-cup and
¼-cup measuring cups. Encourage them to experiment to discover if their estimations were right.
Closing Circle
Show the children a felt pizza from the home living center. Ask them to identify it
when left whole (one pizza, a whole pizza), divided in half, or in quarters.
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Things to Prepare
Post “Bath” and “Shower” signs
in room
Create book reading graph
Create several simple graphs with
five columns each on chart paper
Gather eggshells
Gather grass seed
Create grass growth graph
Create laminated, floating graph
Gather samples of noncarbonated,
sugar-free fruit drinks
Create weather graph
Large Group
Materials Needed
� Book reading graph
� Chart paper and
� Crayons
� Dirt
� Egg carton
� Empty eggshells
� Graphs
� Grass seed
� Items that sink and
� Mirror
� Paper
� Pencils
� Small boats of different
� Sticky notes
� Stuffed dogs and cats
Ahead of time, create several simple graphs with five columns each on chart paper.
Be sure to leave room for headers or footers (depending on where you prefer to put
the information being garnered). Explain that when you need to find out
something about a set, graphing can be a fun and easy way to do so.
Begin by talking about things the children like. Say, “Here (indicate the
children) we have a set of children. Now we need to find out how
many in this set like ice cream. So, let’s label our first graph, ‘Do you
like ice cream?’ and we’ll label the columns ‘yes’ and ‘no.’” Ask the
children to come forward one at a time to answer if they like ice cream,
then to print their name or the first letter of their name in the “yes” or
“no” column. Keep in mind that at this point invented spelling is
acceptable. When done, ask the children to look at the graph and try
to interpret or explain its meaning. They will most likely draw the conclusion that all of the children in the set like ice cream. Repeat the
activity at least two more times, posing different questions. Be sure to
include a question that will garner some negative responses, such as
“Do you like scary movies?” Post the graphs where the children will
be able to see them as they move through centers.
Transition Tip
As children go to centers, create a bar graph showing their initial choices.
Small Group
Create a simple bar graph of the children’s eye colors. Have the children use a mirror
to identify their eye color, and then draw a picture of their eye and cut it out. They
can then affix the eye cutout to the appropriate column on a bar graph titled “Our
Eyes Are Different Colors.” When the graph is finished, ask the children to answer
several questions. Which eye color has the most? Which has the fewest? Is there the
same number of any eye color (are any columns equal)?
Explain that a way to graph without paper is for the children to simply move their
bodies. Say, “Let’s make a graph about how we keep our bodies clean!” Post a sign
that says “bath” and one that says “shower” on opposite sides of the large group
area. Ask the children if they took a bath or a shower last night. Have them move to
stand under the appropriate sign. When everyone has responded to the question, say,
“This graph is harder to interpret because the information is not lined up like it is on
a piece of graph paper. Let’s look at the two sets and estimate which one has more
people in it.” After the children estimate, have them help you count to be sure of the
right answer. Which set has more? Which set has fewer? Tell the children they will
have many more opportunities to experiment with graphs during center time.
Center Time
Discovery Science Center
Provide small samples of a noncarbonated, sugar-free fruit drink. Ask the children
to taste it and say whether they like it or not. Display the results on a simple yes-no
Grow grass in eggshells or a cup, and have the children keep track of the growth
using a bar graph. Create a column for each child. Along the left-hand side, draw
or attach a ruler. Each day, have the children measure their grass and color the
column green up to the appropriate number of inches. After a few weeks, have the
children interpret the results. Whose grass grew the most? Whose grew the least?
Dramatic Play Center
Put several stuffed dogs, cats, and other types of pets in the area. Post several yesno graphs on the wall: “Do you like dogs?” “Do you like cats?” “Do you like birds?”
Encourage the children to complete the graphs by putting an X or check mark in
the appropriate column. Ask the children to interpret the graphs. Which type of
pet is the most popular? Which is the least popular?
Do you
like dogs?
Do you
like cats?
Unit 9: Learn Every Day about Numbers
Do you
like birds?
Create a graph that shows the children’s favorite foods. If you are adventurous,
you can make a pie chart, but the results are harder for young children to interpret
than a bar graph. Interview the children about their favorite foods and record their
responses on the graph. Which type of food is most popular? Which is least
popular? Revisit your unit of study on nutrition and classify the favorite foods
according to the My Plate diagram.
Literacy Center
Graph the number of letters in each child’s name. Print each name on a sentence
strip and have the children cut it apart into individual letters. Place the letters on
a bar graph with enough columns to accommodate the child with the longest
name. When all children have pasted their letters in place, compare the length of
the rows. This is a bit different than interpreting the heights of the columns, and
it may take a few moments for the children to “get it.”
Create a three-column bar graph to show how often teachers read to children.
Label the columns “Large Group,” “Small Group,” and “Individually.” Each time a
teacher reads, place a sticky note in the appropriate column to mark the event.
Outdoor Activities Center
Post a thermometer in a sunny place, and have the children keep track of the daily
temperatures for a week using a graph. As an alternative, they can also keep track
of weather each day: sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, and so on.
Sand and Water Center
Home Stretch
Send a personal bar
graph home with
each child and ask
them to graph the
colors of their
family’s eyes.
Graph whether or not a variety of items will sink or
float in water. Create a simple two-column graph
with the headers “sink” and “float.” Laminate it
since it will be used near water. Have the children
experiment with a variety of materials and place
the actual item on the graph. Ask the children
to interpret the results when done. Did
more items sink or float?
Challenge the children to create a floating
graph. Laminate a simple grid of fairly large squares,
and place it on the bottom of the water table or large tub of
water. Put a small amount of water in the container, just enough to allow
a toy boat to float. Provide several boats in different colors: red, yellow, and blue.
Challenge the children to line the boats up by color, using the grid paper as a guide.
Which color has the most boats? Which has the fewest boats?
Closing Circle
Ask the children to interpret the meaning of the reading graph in the literacy center.
Are children read to more in large groups, small groups, or individually?
Lesson 5: Graphing
Extend the Learning
Count Around the Circle
Individual cushions or place mats (optional)
What to Do
1. Sit in a circle with the children and ask them, “How many people are here today?
Let’s count!”
2. Look into the eyes of the child on your right and say, “one.” He should turn his
head, look at the child to his right, and say “two.”
3. Continue around the circle and at the end, ask, “How many people are here
today?” The children should respond with the correct number.
4. Another variation is to ask each child to say the number plus her name when it is
her turn.
Teacher-to-Teacher Tips
Ask the children to pass a soft toy around as they say their number.
� Consider adding an element of excitement by using an electronic timer to
check the duration of the count. See if the children can count around the
circle faster on second and third attempts.
—Patrick Mitchell, Yagoto, Nagoya, Japan
Used with permission from Learn Every Day about Numbers, p. 21, Gryphon House, Inc.,
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