Want to plan and implement effective kindergarten math lessons for your students? Try these ideas and tips!
I’ve written about the literacy routine that I follow in my classroom in the past. I also wanted to write about how I teach different math skills.
You can also listen to me talk about math in kindergarten in a recent podcast episode:
Scope and Sequence
I follow a rough scope and sequence to teach different skills throughout the school year, but I stray from it a lot. With a play, inquiry-based classroom, I find that math topics present themselves at all different times.
If a student is talking about measuring a structure they created, I’m going to take the time to teach them that skill. Even if I’m not supposed to teach about measurement until a future time, I don’t want to pass on an opportunity for authentic learning.
Another issue that I’ve noticed following a strict scope and sequence is that number sense skills build on each other all year long. Having a deep understanding of numbers and the counting principles all year (and will continue into grade 1). I embed learning about numbers into everything we do throughout the year and do number talks to build their mental math skills.
So it is important to remember that even if you follow a scope and sequence, you should follow your students’ lead and ensure that your instruction reflects their interests and understanding.
That being said, I start off the year with some simple number sense skills (number recognition and one-to-one correspondence) and sorting. Those are 2 skills that will lay the foundation for future learning throughout the year.
Kindergarten Math Lessons
For my students to learn a new math skill – they need explicit instruction. Therefore, I will teach the skill using hands-on demonstrations, co-creating anchor charts with them, and reading math books.
I also make sure that they understand the specialized vocabulary they may encounter for a particular strain (like vertices and faces when teaching about 3D shapes). This way, they can use these words when they are playing or noticing and naming any learning in the classroom.
Students also need to be able to practice the skills that they are taught. I like using a combination of teacher-led math centres, guided groups and provocations. By intentionally planning out activities for my students to participate in, they can show their understanding, and I can extend their learning in different ways.
It’s also important to have different math tools available to my students at all times. This can include things like a number chart, scale, counters, etc. I leave them out on a shelf so that my students can use them when they need to.
What do you include in your math routine? What am I missing? Let me know in the comments!