I am not using a set curriculum for math this year. My plan is to use lots of hands on activities and then work through addition and subtraction using the cognitively guided instruction approach. I am excited about this approach as it is highly recommended by a long time elementary schoolteacher and teacher trainer. I will post more about that later in the year.
We are starting our kindergarten year with a unit on shapes. We will do two dimensional shapes first and then three dimensional right after or later in the year depending on where we are at the end of this study.
In keeping with my homeschooling on a dollar store budget I picked up some colorful flat wooden shapes on clearance at our local teacher store. There is a section where they have random sets of things that seem like pieces from games for super cheap. I have found some neat little manipulatives there and always make sure to check it out.
For kindergarten we will be doing math twice a week and last week we started by identifying basic shapes, counting sides and corners. They already knew circle, square, rectangle and triangle but the hexagon was new for them.
The first thing I did was have them sort the shapes. They did really well without any input from me.
After we had identified each shape and counted the shapes and corners, we played “find me a ___________.” They took turns finding the shape I called out and then each had a chance to call out a shape for the other to find.
Next up was the “shape detective” game. On their turn they chose shapes to put into a bag (I just used a paper lunch bag) and then I told them a shape to find. They had to find that shape using “clues” gathered by their fingers without looking and pull it out of the bag. We started with two shapes and moved up until we had one of each of the shapes in the bag. Again, they took turns telling the other what shape to find.
Today we continued the shape study by reviewing the shapes we talked about last week. I started the lesson out with the shapes colored side down. We matched shapes, talked about big and small, discussed how we knew the shapes were different (how is a square different than a rectangle and a circle different than a hexagon even though the shapes are very similar) and discovered that we could make a new shape by putting two shapes together.
After we talked about the shapes for a while, we played shape bingo. I took a plain piece of paper and folded it into 16 squares. They then filled their boards using the shapes and put a chip on each shape I called.
After a few rounds they each had a turn to be the “chooser” and I played one of the boards. The “chooser” had to call out the shape that he chose from the bag. They had a great time with this game and I have a feeling it will be requested again.
After math, we made shape collages for art. I made cutting strips on construction paper that they cut out and glued onto paper. Cutting the squares and rectangles was pretty easy and the triangles and half circles more difficult. It is quite difficult to cut a circle with scissors, so I decided to use half circles so it was challenging and used the same skills as cutting a full circle but not so difficult that they would become discouraged and frustrated.
They had lots of fun cutting and gluing and were so calm and quiet I decided to read the next chapter in our read aloud: The Mouse and the Motorcycle while they worked.
Judah’s finished picture:
Disclaimers: Yes, that is my dining room table full of dents, scratches, missing varnish and permanent marker stains. But it is solid and well built and will hopefully last 16 more years of homeschooling and I’m not afraid to mess it up. Also, yes, I know Malachi’s shirt is backwards AND inside out but he is participating so it’s a win. This is real life, my friends.