Monday, March 2, 2015

Dynamic and Interactive Math Worksheets - Preschool/Early Elementary

dynamic and interactive preschool early elementary worksheets

Worksheets are not developmentally appropriate for children until around age 8. The key word being DEVELOPMENTALLY. Some children, like my current pre-k's, are developmentally advanced. Once we've gone through the first two levels of instructions, and we need to "take it small," then worksheets become a necessity.

That does not mean that they need to be boring, stagnant and one-dimensional. They can be fully engaging.



Once the children have a concept down, they need the ability to play with it in their own time. These worksheets are FREE CHOICE activities. The children can grab one at will and do it at their own pace. If they only want to do one or two problems, then they can place the unfinished worksheet in their work drawer to come back to later.

If they have difficulty, as with all of our endeavors, they have to try to come up with a work-around before bringing the problem to me. At their disposal for these math worksheets they can utilize an abacus, number line, manipulatives, 100's chart, or a peer tutor.



I have to limit how many worksheets the pre-k's can do in a day. Why? Because they are dynamic and interactive - fun. Every time they do one, it changes. They have no idea what the next draw will be. It's a little mystery, a little adventure, a little magic. Everyone likes surprises, and especially children. 

It is their choice to do the activity. They make the choices of cards, dominos, or how to roll the die, but chance determines the equations. Everything is within their realm of control and self-direction. Empowered learning.

Below is more information on the six worksheets we are using. The instructions sound much more mature than for this age group. Remember that the children already KNOW how to do these, so these instructions are for your information, not a child's instruction. Demonstration always works better than verbal instruction for the children.


MATH PATH

This is the first one we utilize.  Since it is the first, I included a writing key at the bottom. If they need a key on the other worksheets, they just grab one of these for reference, because this is evidently easier than turning around and looking at the one on the wall, or pulling the one from the busy bag bin.

Instructions:
  • Roll the die and write down the first number.
  • Roll the die and write down the second number.
  • If the second number is SMALLER than the first, then you have the choice to add OR subtract.
  • If the second number is LARGER than the first, then you have to add.
  • Write the function in the circle.
  • Complete the equation and write the answer.
  • Roll the die and write down the next number.
  • Continue.


NUMBER LINE


These kiddos have this one down, so I'm revising a new one that will be used with a 10 or 12 sided die. I will also be doing some for skip counting.

Instructions:
  • Roll the die and write down the first number.
  • Roll the die and write down the second number.
  • If the second number is SMALLER than the first, then you have the choice to add OR subtract.
  • If the second number is LARGER than the first, then you have to add.
  • Write the function in the circle. 
  • Place a dot on the number line relevant to the first number.
  • Write the number of leaps relevant to the second number in the correct direction.
  • Complete the equation and write the answer.
DOMINO ADDITION

domino addition worksheet preschool early elementary

This can also be changed up for multiplication.

Instructions:
  • Pick a domino.
  • Draw the domino in the boxes.
  • Write the numbers that correspond to the domino amount.
  • Complete the equation and write the answer.
CARD SUBTRACTION



This uses only cards ace through 9. I like the aspect of A=l. Good algebra initiation. The first time they did this, I asked what the answer was to the equation, something like what is 59-37. Miss A looked at me like I was insane and said, "We can't do THAT!" Then I showed them that she just had on her worksheet and they were amazed.

Instructions:
  • Choose 2 cards.
  • Place the highest card above the lowest card.
  • Choose 2 more cards.
  • Place the highest card above the lowest card next to the previous set.
  • Write in the numbers as they are on the cards.
  • Subtract. Write in the answer.
GRAPHING


graphing worksheet preschool early elementary

Since the children aren't allowed to throw inside, this is a special treat and very popular. I have a set of the soft insertable dice. I took one to use for this activity. This week it is has colors on each side. Next week will be shapes. The next, possibly words that go with our theme, or names of the students. Each week will be different to keep that dynamic aspect going and the interest high.

I could just have all 6 dice out with different things on them, but that takes away from the wonder and anticipation. I could also have a die for each of them, but there is also an element of limited resources being valued more highly than plenty that also keeps the interest higher.

This is by far their favorite. The discussion, prediction, and analysis they engage in between themselves and me as they go through this one is just awesome. "Oh, wow, now ORANGE is winning!" "Hey, now I have a four tie between green, blue, yellow and PINK!"

Instructions:
  • Referencing the die, mark in your legend on the bottom row of the graph.
  • Answer question 1.
  • Roll the die, marking the appropriate box until one column is filled.
  • Answer the rest of the questions.
ONE HUNDRED CHART

hundreds chart preschool early elementary

The stated task of this worksheet is skip counting. However, it works odd/even identification, multiplication, one-to-one correspondence counting, number identification, logic/reasoning skills, addition & subtraction...

I have them work on our red=odd, STOP you can not divide evenly; and even=green, GO you can divide evenly.

Instructions:
  • Roll a die to see what the skip count will be.
  • Choose a random number as the starting number.
  • Skip count forward and backward from that number.
  • If you land on an odd number, color that square red.
  • If you land on an even number, color that square green.
We can also use the 100 Chart for other math activities, games and mystery pictures.



One of the wonderful things about a mixed age group, is how much the little ones learn through observation, asking questions, and listening to the older children discuss what they are doing.


A parent asked why I don't just laminate these. I may.

But these are new, BIG concepts and skills. I don't want these worksheets to become just another busy bag or time filler. 

I don't believe in flash cards. These children are performing their addition and subtraction facts multiple times a day, through CHOICE and what they consider to be PLAY. 

The retention of those facts is amazing, because it is meaningful to them.

They are identifying mathematical patterns and concepts on their own through exploration, rather than through instruction.

The children do not have to complete a worksheet. If they do not, it goes into their work drawer for later and they have to complete that one before getting another. I think it is important that they build this work ethic. Laminated sheets do not instill this continuity of performance.

Once a sheet is finished, they get to take it home. I also think that being able to retain their work and show it to others is an important aspect of taking pride in their work and accomplishments. The feedback and encouragement will support their continued efforts and self-esteem. 

If you don't want to spend the time making your own worksheets, I have this set available in my TPT store for $1.00.
Tags: homeschool, homeschooling, unschooling, independent learning, preschool, elementary, math, multiplication, addition, subtraction, graphing, child care, daycare, pre-k, child, care, 

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