Friday, June 15, 2012

Montessori-Inspired Ocean Math Activities

By Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now

Subtract the Fish Tray

Summer is a great time both for relaxed beach/ocean unit studies and for learning outdoors. I took all the photos here either on tables or on a beach towel outdoors in the shade. I love outdoor learning in almost any weather, but it's especially helpful to bring learning activities outdoors in the summer.

Last month, I published Montessori-inspired beach language activities with ideas for using the activities indoors or outdoors. I also have a post with many different types of ideas for outdoor learning activities: Montessori-inspired outdoor environment.

Today, I want to share Montessori-inspired math ideas using some great free printables I found online with an ocean theme.

Fish Pattern Math Activity

Fish Pattern Tray

Carolyn from Wise Owl Factory shares an awesome free Pattern Fish, Pattern Math 47 Page PDF. Thanks so much, Carolyn! You'll find some great ideas for using the printable book in her post. If you don't want to print out the entire book for home use, you could share the patterning ideas with your child on your computer and then create some hands-on activities. 

Here's an idea for using pattern fish pocket chart cards to create a pattern outdoors on a beach towel. I just printed out six copies of one page for this activity. Of course, you could use fewer cards to create a shorter pattern. I used a small clear acrylic tray from Montessori Services for the cards. You'll find other variations for using the pattern pocket chart cards in Carolyn's post as well.


Fish Pattern Math Activity

Ocean Math Pattern Hunt

Ocean Math Pattern Hunt

3 Dinosaurs has a HUGE ocean pack for ages 2-7. Thank you to Cassie from 3 Dinosaurs for sharing these wonderful literature-based free printables!

I like to find ways to create extra interest for children who aren't drawn to traditional learning activities. Even children who are will generally find extra interest in a new variation of an activity.

I used the ocean patterning printables from the pack to create an ocean math pattern hunt using colored sand from a hobby store (Michaels). I like to rotate and repurpose materials, so this is the same sand I used in last month's O is for Octopus sand tray. There are three pages of patterning printables. You could choose to use one page or all three, depending on the level best for your child or class.

I used a deep tray I found at the dollar section of Target last summer along with a small shovel. (You could add other types of scoops as well.) The brush is for brushing the sand off the cards after discovery. Any type of brush would work. I just used one I had at home.

For this activity, the child simply searches for the cards you've laminated and hidden in the sand, brushes them off, and places the cards in the correct place on the "What Comes Next?" page.

 

Ocean Number Order Puzzles

Ocean Number Order Puzzles

I love that the ocean pack from 3 dinosaurs has three sets of number order puzzles - 1-10, 11-20, and 21-30. Again, adjust the activity to include 1-, 2-, or all 3 puzzles for your child or class. 

I used three pencil boxes from Really Useful Box that I found at an office-supply store. I like to have small containers to keep activities organized on the tray, and I like using the Really Useful Box containers both as organizers and as an included open-and-close activity for preschoolers. (Note: Here's a post with lots of ideas for open and close.)

 

Subtract the Fish Activity


Subtract the Fish Activity

Obviously, goldfish aren't typical ocean fish. But I think Goldfish crackers still work well - and add interest - to an ocean math activity. This activity works for any child who has a good understanding of quantity and numerals. There are number cards included in the activity for 1-20. I used 1-15 here, although you could just use 1-10.

The photo at the top of the post shows how I prepared the tray with an inexpensive wooden tray from the hobby store, a glass candle coaster for the number of Goldfish crackers you want to use (and allow the child to eat), and another small container for the number cards.

For the activity, I would have the child choose two number cards, placing the larger number in the space to the left. Then he or she could count out the correct number of Goldfish to place above the minuend as in the photo.

As the child counts out the correct number for the subtrahend, he or she could count out and move that number of Goldfish to the "water" above the subtrahend. After eating those Goldfish, the child could then count out the goldfish left and place the number card with the difference in the last space. Continue creating and solving subtraction equations until the Goldfish are gone.

I had a Montessori-inspired One Fish, Two Fish addition tray in February, which used Goldfish crackers as well (although for a Dr. Seuss theme).

There are many more printables in the ocean pack, such as clip-and-count cards. For Montessori-inspired presentation ideas, check out my Montessori-inspired April showers activities post.

More Free Ocean Printables and Ocean Activities

Here are links to my other Montessori-inspired ocean posts: Montessori-Inspired Ocean Unit, Montessori-Inspired Beach Language Activities, and Montessori-Inspired Resources for World Ocean Day.

Ocean Unit Study Pinterest Board

I also have an Ocean Unit Study Pinterest board with links to many more wonderful free printables and activities of all types.
 
I hope you're having an awesome summer! :)

 
Living Montessori Now
Deb ChitwoodDeb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in Colorado Springs with her husband of 37 years and their cat of 11 years. She blogs at Living Montessori Now. 

Linked with The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co., Fun Stuff Fridays, Living Life Intentionally Linky Party, The Weekly Kid’s Co-op, Preschool Corner, Saturday Show & Tell, Show-and-Share Saturday, Link & Learn, The Sunday Showcase at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and Classified: Mom, and Making Math Meaningful at Rainbows Within Reach.

15 comments:

  1. WOW!!! Deb, I had a field day pinning from this post!! You always create so many applications for materials. These are so practical. I had all kinds of different pin boards to categorize them!

    Keep up the great work. I know so many appreciate it!

    Debbie
    RainbowsWithinReach

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    1. Thanks for your very kind comment, Debbie ... and thanks for pinning my activities! Your Pinterest boards are awesome, and I really appreciate all the pinning work you do! :)

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  2. So many cute, CUTE activities! Thanks for linking up to TGIF - have a GREAT week,
    Beth =-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I hope you have a great rest of the week, too! :)

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  3. Wow! What great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing on this week's Kids Co-Op link up!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, PlayDrMom! Have a great weekend! :)

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  4. These are beautiful and well planned ideas! I love seeing moms to give their best in teaching skills to working with their children. Thanks for sharing this great post on Saturday Show & Tell @ Cheerios and Lattes last week! :) Hope to see you again this weekend! :)
    Mackenzie

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    1. Thanks so much Mackenzie ... and thanks for hosting Saturday Show & Tell. See you there this weekend! :)

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  5. So many wonderful ideas here Deb. My girls love using goldfish and other snack food to work on math.

    Featuring this on this week's Sunday Showcase On Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Bern! Snack food does make math more interesting doesn't it?! And thanks for featuring my post! :)

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  6. That is absolutely brilliant - I love how it all has the ocean theme. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much, pinkoddy! I hope you're having a great summer! :)

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  7. I can't find the link to print out the goldfish activity sheet. I tried searching 3dinosaurs.com but couldn't find the sheet. Could you please help with this!!! I am so excited to try this activity. Thank you

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