At the end of the day, we count the numbers on our calendar and add the next number. This constant repetition helps the children understand the pattern of the numbers, which can be especially hard with the number 11-19. After counting in English, we count the same numbers again in Spanish. It's amazing how quickly the children are learning this skill in both languages.
A more advanced skill than simple rote counting is being able to count objects one by one. To practice this skill, we worked with our number rods. These rods are just like the red rods, except that the rods change color from red to blue every 10 centimeters. We brought two rugs over to the circle and then the children took turns bringing the rods over to the first rug. This activity also has a small box of wooden number cards from one to ten. We brought the box over and spread the cards out on the second rug.
I put the rods in random order and then I picked up one of the rods and we counted the red and blue parts of the rod together.Then someone volunteered to come up and find the matching number card and placed it next to the rod. We continued until all of the rods had been matched with one of the number cards from 1-10. We also needed to use our number skills to put the rods back on the shelf. I asked someone to find the number ten rod, put the number card back in the box, and return the rod to the shelf. We continued with the number nine rod, the eight rod, etc. until all of the rods had been put away.
One way to reinforce this skill is to use this paper ( or pdf version) that has drawings of the number rods and number cards that you can cut out. You can make them more sturdy by gluing them to cardboard. Work with your child on matching the numbers and the cards. This will make them eager to do the same thing in class!
We had a great time reading "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" this week by Bill Martin. It is the story of lower case letters that keep trying to climb a coconut tree. When they all fall down from the tree, their parents, the capital letters, come to help them. It's a fun story and everybody enjoyed singing the ABC song before and after the story.