Magnetic Calendar Activity Center

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center (Lakeshore Learning) will help children develop calendar concepts. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • count days
  • days of week
  • sequence days of week
  • today is, yesterday was, tomorrow will be
  • months of year
  • sequence months of year
  • seasons
  • weather
  • holidays and special days
  • year


Materials

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains 106 pieces (1 board, 7 days, 12 months, 4 seasons, 10 holidays, 15 celebration days, 4 birthdays, 2 celebration, 2 no school, and 2 magnet frames).

The calendar grid is colorful and sturdy. The magnets with the bold blue numerals are the year magnets. The magnets with the white numerals mark the date.

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center can be mounted to a wall, displayed on an easel, or stand freely on table.


Days of the Week

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains an individual magnet for each day of the week.

In addition to “today,” children can also learn “yesterday” and “tomorrow.”


Months of the Year

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains an individual magnet for each month of the year.

Children will learn about current month as well as sequencing months from January to December.


Seasons and Weather

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains one magnet for each of the four seasons. Children will be encouraged to use their senses (see: leaves growing, leaves falling, snow; feel: cold, warm, hot) to understand weather as well as the different seasons.

The magnet frames will help children understand and keep track of the weather. Children will be able to respond to, “Today’s weather is ___” and “Outside it feels ___.”

Use the Outside it feels magnet frame to mark one of the illustrations below.

Use the Today’s weather is magnet frame to mark one of the illustrations below.


Holidays, Celebrations, and Special Days

Holiday = Labor Day

Celebration = Yum Kippur

Special Day = Birthday


Holidays

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains an individual magnet for each holiday. The 10 holidays are:

  1. Christmas
  2. Columbus Day
  3. Independence Day
  4. Labor Day
  5. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  6. Memorial Day
  7. New Year’s Day
  8. Presidents’ Day
  9. Thanksgiving
  10. Veteran’s Day


Celebrations and Special Days

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center contains 15 different celebration magnets and three special days. The 15 celebration days are:

  1. 100th Day!
  2. Chinese New Year
  3. Cinco de Mayo
  4. Earth Day
  5. Easter
  6. Father’s Day
  7. Halloween
  8. Hanukkah
  9. Kwanzaa
  10. Mother’s Day
  11. Passover
  12. Ramadan
  13. St. Patrick’s Day
  14. Valentine’s Day
  15. Yom Kippur

Children will also discuss special days, including birthdays, celebrations, and no school days.


My experience using the Magnetic Calendar Activity Center

I have used the Magnetic Calendar Activity Center activity in a variety of ways. I have worked with mostly older preschool children. The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center activity can be easily adapted to meet the needs of each child.


Additional Activities

“Before” and “After”

  • “Which day comes before Wednesday?” Child should respond, “Tuesday.”
  • “Which day comes after Friday?” Child should respond, “Saturday.”
  • “Which month comes before April?” Child should respond, “March.”
  • “Which month comes after September?” Child should respond, “October.”

Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span
  • eye-hand coordination
  • remaining sitting for several minutes

Suggestions

  • Sing songs related to days of the week, months of the year, seasons, holidays, and celebrations.
  • The number magnets used to mark the date can be placed on calendar all at once or one day at a time.
  • Count calendar days on a daily basis to reinforce rote counting and number recognition.
  • Consider one-to-one correspondence as children count the days.
  • Encourage children to figure out combination of numbers for year (2018).
  • Ask one child to respond to, “Yesterday was ___.” Then ask another child to respond to, “Today is ___.” Finally, ask another child to respond to, “Tomorrow will be ___.”
  • Place two days on board (i.e., Monday and Thursday) and encourage child to find the correct day in response to, “Today is ___.” Same procedure is possible in response to, “Yesterday was ___” and “Tomorrow will be ___.”
  • Word recognition – identifying days and months in print.
  • Emphasize weekdays and weekends.

Summary

The Magnetic Calendar Activity Center will help children develop calendar concepts. Children will be able to learn the following concepts:

  • count days
  • days of week
  • sequence days of week
  • today is, yesterday was, tomorrow will be
  • months of year
  • sequence months of year
  • seasons
  • weather
  • holidays and special days
  • year

Additional Information

Where to buy

https://www.lakeshorelearning.com/products/math/multiskill-math-products/magnetic-calendar-activity-center/p/AA479

Counting Cars


The Counting Cars (Lakeshore Learning) activity will help children develop different math skills. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • count
  • identify numerals
  • identify number words in print
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Materials

The Counting Cars activity contains 70 pieces (10 cars and 60 passengers). Each car is numbered individually with printed white numerals (1-10) on front (hood) as well as on the back (trunk). Printed white number words (one-ten) are also on the sides (doors) of each car.

All 10 cars have rotating wheels that really roll. The wheels have a rubber strip for a smooth ride. After a gentle push, the passengers snap securely in place. Each car is represented in one of four colors (orange, blue, green, red). The cars vary in length due to the number of “seats” in each car. All passengers are represented in purple color.

Rubber strip on rotating wheels

Passengers snap securely in place

Purple passengers


Counting

When counting passengers/cars, say the number names in the standard order. Model pairing each passenger/car with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one passenger/car. Children move from rote counting to counting concrete objects (the passengers/cars) and then begin to develop the idea of one-to-one correspondence as they realize that one number name goes with one passenger/car.


Identifying Numerals

Numeral representations for each number name should be introduced as children begin to rote count fluently. The Counting Cars activity provides opportunities for children to connect the number name with the numeral.


Identifying Number Words in Print

Children with emerging reading skills should be encouraged to read the names in white print on each car. The Counting Cars activity is helpful for children to understand that “four passengers” also represents the numeral “4” and the name in print “four.”

Counting Cars - Lakeshore Learning


Sequencing Numbers

Children will learn to sequence the cars from 1-10.

When appropriate, the cars should be in random order and the child can then sequence the cars (1-5 or 1-10) in the correct order.


Counting with one-to-one correspondence

“Touch and count” as the child places each passenger in the car. Start with a few cars (e.g., 1-3) and increase range (e.g., 1-5) as child demonstrates understanding of one-to-one correspondence.


My experience using the Counting Cars activity

I have used the Counting Cars activity in a variety of ways. I have worked with children that are unable to count or identify numbers. I have also worked with 3-year-olds that are able to identify every number between 1-10. The Counting Cars activity can be easily adapted to meet the needs of each child.


Additional Activities

Asking simple WH questions 

This is a great activity I have tried when working in small groups of 2-3 children. Each child is encouraged to respond to the following questions:

  • Who has number ___?” The child may respond “me” or “I do.” Also, one child can identify the peer (by name or by saying “he/she”) that has the number ___.
  • What number is this?”
  • Where is number ___?”
  • Which number is missing?” – Align the cars (1-5 or 1-10) and remove a car (or several cars). Ask the child to identify the missing number(s). This activity reinforces identifying numbers and is helpful as children learn sequencing numbers. If exposed to this activity, the child should be able to recognize all numbers used during activity.

Note picture below in which number ‘4’ is missing.


Matching – Encourage child to look at a number of passengers and have the child match the appropriate car with the passengers.

As the child demonstrates understanding of the connection between a specific number of passengers and a numeral, the teacher or caregiver can present the following field of two activity:

For example, 3 passengers = car #3

Start with a small range of cars (1-3) and increase range as child recognizes numbers. The goal is for children to match the number of passengers with the numeral (car). The Counting Cars activity connects the concept of a specific number of passengers and how they are represented by a number on a car.


“Before” and “After”

  • “Which number comes before 8?” Child should respond, “7.”
  • “Which number comes after 8?” Child should respond, “9.”

“More than” or “Less than”

  • “Which car has more passengers?” Child should respond, “7.”
  • “Which car has less passengers?” Child should respond, “4.”

Counting On

Provide opportunities for children to rote count from a number other than 1 (i.e., 3) without having to go back and start at 1. The child should be able to continue to count (4, 5, 6) without starting from 1.


Adding

Three passengers in the car.

Two more passengers get in car.

How many passengers in the car?

3 + 2 = 5


Subtracting

Three passengers in the car.

Counting Cars - Lakeshore Learning

One passenger gets out of the car.

How many passengers are in the car?

3 – 1 = 2


“How Many?”

When counting the passengers/cars, emphasize that the last number name said indicates the number of passengers/cars counted.


“Cardinality” – Provide opportunities for child to see how many passengers there are. For example, show any amount of passengers between 1 and 10 and ask, “How many?” Child should respond, “5.” Cardinality refers to the actual number of passengers.


Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span
  • eye-hand coordination
  • pincer grasp
  • Understanding “push” (secure passengers) and “pull” (remove passengers)

Suggestions

  • Teaching multiple concepts at once is not a good idea. Teach number identification (i.e., “What number is this?” or “Where is number 6?”), sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence, separately. For example, teach sequencing numbers (1-5 or 1-10) only after child is able to recognize numbers.
  • Children who confuse numbers during a sequencing activity (i.e., 1, 2, 5, 3, 7, 4), skip numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8), or repeat numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5) require more practice counting within a smaller range of numbers.
  • Keep in mind that the child should be fluent within a range of numbers (i.e., 1-5) before increasing the range (i.e., 1-10).
  • Encourage child to connect the number of passengers (7 passengers), the oral number word (“seven”), the written number word (“seven”), and the numeral (“3.”)

Summary

The Counting Cars activity is a set of 10 plastic cars and 60 passengers. The cars are numbered individually and easy to use. Children will learn to:

  • count
  • identify numerals
  • identify number words in print
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Additional Information

Where to buy

Color Rings Sorting Board

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The Color Rings Sorting Board (Lakeshore Learning) will help children identify colors. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • identify some colors (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple)
  • sort according to color

All six colors are represented in three ways: 1. color rings, 2. color pegs, and 3. color names printed on board.

Color Rings Sorting Board - Lakeshore Learning


Materials

The Color Rings Sorting Board contains 25 wooden pieces (1 board and 24 rings). Each ring is represented in one of six colors (4 blue, 4 red, 4 green, 4 yellow, 4 orange, 4 purple).


My experience using the Color Rings Sorting Board

In my practice as a special educator and SEIT, I have used the Color Rings Sorting Board to teach colors and sorting. I have worked with children that are unable to identify colors. I have also worked with 3-year-olds that are able to identify all colors as well as sort the colors.


Additional Activities

Ask simple WH questions – This is a great activity I have tried when working in small groups of 2-6 children. Each child has a ring and I ask one of the following questions:

  • “What color is this?”
  • “Who has the blue ring?”: The child may respond “me” or “I do.” Also, one child can identify the peer (by name or by saying “he/she”) that has the blue ring.
  • “Where is the orange ring?”

“One” and “All” – Encourage child to follow simple commands:

“Put ‘one’ red ring on the board.”

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“Put ‘all’ the purple rings on the board.”

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Sorting – Encourage child to sort rings according to COLOR:

“Put all the green rings on the board.”

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Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span
  • hand-eye coordination

Suggestions

Consider “field of ___” questions:

Field of two – one (1) of two (2) pieces is correct:

“Where is the blue ring?”

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Field of three – one (1) of three (3) pieces is correct:

“Where is the green ring?”

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After demonstrating understanding of field of three, most children are able to identify individual colors when all six color rings are presented together. Encourage child to find rings of a particular color:

“Can you find the orange rings?”

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Summary

The Color Rings Sorting Board is a wooden board with 24 colorful wooden rings. Children will be able to:

  • identify some colors (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple)
  • sort according to color

Additional Information

Where to buy

Sort-A-Shape Activity Board

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The Sort-A-Shape Activity Board (Lakeshore Learning) will help children identify shapes and colors. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • identify some shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle)
  • identify some colors (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • sort according to shapes
  • sort according to colors

Materials

The Sort-A-Shape Activity Board contains 17 wooden pieces (1 board and 16 shapes: 4 circles, 4 squares, 4 triangles, 4 rectangles). Each shape is represented in one of four colors (red, blue, yellow, green).


My experience using the Sort-A-Shape Activity Board

In my practice as a special educator and SEIT, I have used the Sort-A-Shape Activity Board in a variety of ways. I have worked with children that are unable to identify colors and/or shapes. I have also worked with 3-year-olds that are able to identify all colors as well as shapes.


Additional Activities

Ask simple WH questions – This is a great activity I have tried when working in small groups of 2-4 children. Each child has a shape and I ask one of the following questions:

  • “What shape is this?”
  • “Who has the circle/square/triangle/rectangle?” The child may respond “me” or “I do.” Also, one child can identify the peer (by name or by saying “he/she”) that has the circle/square/triangle/rectangle.
  • “Where is the circle/square/triangle/rectangle?”

Children working on colors and shapes simultaneously can respond to a question involving two attributes:

“Where is the yellow triangle?”

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“One” and “All” – Encourage child to follow simple commands:

“Put ‘one’ circle on the board.”

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“Put ‘all’ the triangles on the board.”

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Sorting – Encourage child to sort pieces according to SHAPES and/or COLORS:

Sorting according to shapes: “Put all the SQUARES on the board.”

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Sorting according to color: “Put the BLUE shapes on the board.”

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Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span
  • hand-eye coordination

Suggestions

  • Teaching multiple concepts at once is not a good idea. Teach COLORS and SHAPES separately. The Sort-A-Shape Activity Board should be used primarily to teach shapes. When learning colors and shapes at the same time, children usually name a color when asked to label a shape and a shape when asked to label a color. This can cause confusion.
  • Sorting by two attributes should be introduced after child is able to identify all COLORS and SHAPES.
  • Consider “field of ___” questions:

Field of two – one (1) of two (2) pieces is correct:

“Where is the circle?”

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Field of three – one (1) of three (3) pieces is correct:

“Where is the square?”

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Field of four – one (1) of four (4) pieces is correct:

“Where is the triangle?”

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Summary

The Sort-A-Shape Activity Board is a wooden board with 16 colorful wooden shapes. Children will be able to:

  • identify some shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle)
  • identify some colors (red, blue, yellow, green)
  • sort according to shapes
  • sort according to colors

Additional Information

Where to buy

Hands-On Number Grid

IMG_2434


The Hands-On Number Grid (Lakeshore Learning) will help children develop different math skills. Depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and/or grade, the child can learn the following concepts:

  • identify numbers
  • count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • match number cubes to numbers on grid
  • identify even and odd numbers
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Materials

The Hands-On Number Grid contains 101 plastic pieces (1 number grid and 100 cubes). Each cube is numbered individually with printed black numbers 1-100 on one side. Printed white numbers on opposite side of some cubes represent multiples of 5. The color-coded cubes also represent EVEN and ODD numbers. There are 50 green cubes (odd numbers) and 50 blue cubes (even numbers). The numbers on the grid are printed in black. The cubes are easy to grip and the number grid is sturdy.


Identifying Numbers

Children will learn to identify numbers by rote counting. This process includes counting as well as learning number names.


Counting by 1s

When counting by 1s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print (e.g., 1-5, 1-20, etc.). This is a great opportunity to introduce and focus on matching, counting with one-to-one correspondence, number recognition, and sequencing.

Counting by 2s

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When counting by 2s, emphasis is on numbers according to cube colors (blue or green). Follow a color pattern when counting by 2s (green cubes = odd numbers; blue cubes = even numbers). Either way, you’re counting by 2s. Start with a few numbers (e.g., 1-10) and increase as child demonstrates understanding when counting by 2s.

Counting by 5s

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When counting by 5s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print. Multiples of 5 (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, and 100) are represented in white print.

Counting by 10s

IMG_2431

When counting by 10s, all number cubes in the grid are represented in black print. Multiples of 10 (i.e., 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100) are represented in white print.


Odd Numbers

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When counting ODD numbers, emphasis is on the green cubes. Count the green cubes only and you’re counting odd numbers.

Even Numbers

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When counting EVEN numbers, emphasis is on the blue cubes. Count the blue cubes only and you’re counting even numbers.


My experience using the Hands-On Number Grid

In my practice as a special educator and SEIT, I have used the Hands-On Number Grid in a variety of ways. I have worked with children that are unable to identify numbers or count. I have also worked with 3-year-olds that are able to identify every number between 1 and 100. The Hands-On Number Grid can be easily adapted to support all children.


Additional Activities

Ask simple WH questions – This is a great activity I have tried when working in small groups of 3-5 children. Each child has a number cube and I ask one of the following questions:

  • Who has number ___?” The child may respond “me” or “I do.” Also, one child can identify the peer (by name or by saying “he/she”) that has the number ___.
  • What number is this?”
  • Where is number ___?”
  • Which number is missing?” – Remove any number cube (or several number cubes) and ask the child to identify the missing number(s). This activity reinforces identifying numbers and is helpful as children learn sequencing numbers. If exposed to this activity, the child should be able to recognize all numbers used during activity (e.g., 1-5).

Note picture below in which number ‘3’ is missing.

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One-to-one correspondence – “Touch and count” as the child places the cubes in the grid. Start with a few numbers (e.g., 1-5) and increase (e.g., 1-10) as child demonstrates understanding of one-to-one zcorrespondence.

Matching – Place a few cubes (e.g., 1-3) in front of child and count, “1.” Then redirect child to find the number ‘1’ cube. Continue counting “2” and then redirect the child to find the number ‘2’ cube. Start with a few numbers and increase as child demonstrates understanding.

“Before” and “After” – “Which number comes ‘before’ ___?” and/or “Which number comes ‘after’ ___?”

“Counting On” – Children can rote count from a number other than 1 without having to go back and starting at 1. For example, if the child is counting on from 3, you should hear “4, 5, 6, 7, 8 …”


Most children also demonstrated improvement in other areas, including but not limited to:

  • not calling out
  • identifying peer names
  • responding when name is called
  • waiting turn
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • isolating index finger to point
  • joint attention
  • improved attention span

Suggestions

  • Teaching multiple concepts at once is not a good idea. Teach counting, number identification (i.e., “What number is this?” or “Where is number 6?”), sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence, separately. For example, teach sequencing numbers only after child is able to recognize numbers.
  • Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s should be introduced after child is able to identify all numbers. Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s helps children develop the skills necessary to understand place value, skip counting, and multiplication.
  • EVEN and ODD numbers should be introduced after child is able to identify and sequence numbers.
  • Children should be able to rote count prior to counting on.

Summary

The Hands-On Number Grid is a plastic sturdy grid with 100 plastic cubes. The cubes are color-coded and easy to use. Differentiating the colors is helpful so that children can focus on each individual skill. Children will learn to:

  • identify numbers
  • count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • match numbers (cubes in grid)
  • identify even and odd numbers
  • sequence numbers
  • count with one-to-one correspondence

Additional Information

Where to buy