Day 15: Main Activity – Numeracy in the Morning Circle

by | Tutorials

This is a post out of the 31 Days of Morning Circles. You can find the main page for this series here.

Now that we’ve sorted through the opening activities in the morning circle, we move on to the main activity.

The opening activities remain the same daily for us, but the main activity changes often. Sometimes, it’s the same for a few days; sometimes, we only attempt it once a week for a month or a quarter and sometimes only once—in total.

How do you know how long to stay with an activity? It all depends on the activity, the child’s developmental level, interest in the activity, and how much practice they need with a particular skill.

The main activities in the morning circle are intended to introduce and build upon a skill. I use it for intimate one-on-one practice, a skill my son will use later in the day or week. We only work on one main activity per day in the morning circle.

Three main reasons a child will learn a skill best in the morning circle:

  1. They are often most refreshed in the morning.
  2. They are already engaged.
  3. It’s short.

In the following posts, I share examples of skills I introduce/practice in the main activities section of the morning circle. They are not the same activities I do each day or each week. I’m just offering some ideas for you to use in your circle.

Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.

Let’s look at numeracy.

Numeracy activity for morning circle

Using real mini-pumpkins, we:

  • Sing the “5 Little Pumpkins” song
  • Count to 5
  • Compare “small” and “big” (we compare to our large pumpkin)
5 little pumpkins - using real objects as manipulatives for numeracy

Using meaningful, familiar objects as manipulatives for numeracy.

Numeracy Song: 5 Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun!”
Oooohh, went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Ideas for including numeracy in the morning circle

  • Use manipulatives only (avoid using worksheets in the morning circle)—you want to take advantage of the proximity you have with the child to maximize authentic, hands-on learning
  • Use seasonal/thematic materials to help build vocabulary as well as numeracy skills
  • Skills you can work on include: counting, matching, comparing, adding, subtracting, order, patterns, measuring, problem-solving, estimation, etc.
  • Use ASL for numbers
  • Use songs/rhymes to accompany the skill practice—many children retain experiences better through music/chants

How do you incorporate numeracy in your morning circle?

If you’d like personalized numeracy strategies, we can work through them together in a one-on-one consultation for parents or educators.

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