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

About Me!

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My name is Ziograin Correa, Sr., also known as ‘Zio,’ and I am a husband, father of six adorable children (5 boys and 1 girl), and teacher. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY to Puerto Rican parents, I grew up with four siblings in a Spanish-speaking household. I attended P.S. 159, JHS 118, and James Monroe High School in New York City. I currently reside in Manhattan with my wife and children.

My experiences as a parent motivated me to pursue a career in education. Missed opportunities to seek and obtain early intervention and/or CPSE services for my son, after he was diagnosed with autism, encouraged me to pursue a career in early childhood special education. I had never envisioned myself becoming a teacher.

After graduating from James Monroe High School in June 1996, I did not intend to go to college. Instead, I wanted to join the U.S. Army, but shortly before enlistment oath, I changed my mind. Several months later, I met Michelle, whom would become my wife and mother of my children. Our first son was born in August 1998.

On May 28, 2000, my life changed forever. During a baseball game at Yankee Stadium between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, a foul ball struck and fractured my right hand. Several days later I had surgery and then a long recovery. While recovering, my worker’s compensation attorney asked me, “What are you going to do now?” I was injured and unemployed. At the time I had a 21-month-old child.

By August 2000, I had enrolled at Hostos Community College/CUNY (Bronx, NY) and graduated with an associate degree in liberal arts. I transferred to Hunter College/CUNY (New York, NY) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After deciding that law school was not for me due to full-time obligations (family and work), I enrolled at Bank Street College of Education (New York, NY) and graduated with a master of science in education with specialties in dual language/bilingual education, early childhood general education (birth-grade 2), and early childhood special education (birth-grade 2). I am certified to teach birth-grade 2 in general education, special education, and dual language/bilingual settings.

While in graduate school, I taught in a bilingual integrated second grade class. I then worked with preschool students with disabilities. For several years, I provided direct services to preschool students at head start programs, daycare centers, and in their homes. I’m currently working as a special educator with the NYC Early Intervention Program, providing direct services to infants and toddlers and coaching their families and providers, mostly at daycare centers or in the home.

During my time as a special educator, I have realized that families ask the same question over and over again: What toys do you recommend? Regardless of family income and/or educational attainment, they are determined to support their child. Most of my middle class and wealthy families have tons of toys not appropriate for our sessions while most low-income to very low-income families have no toys at all. The NYC Early Intervention Program requires special educators to coach families so the child can meet functional outcomes and objectives written on the child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). How can I coach families that do not have appropriate toys/no toys at all? It can be very challenging. I try not to ask families to purchase toys for my sessions. However, when they are willing and able to do so, I recommend toys as well as demonstrate how to play appropriately with the toys so children can meet their goals.

At the same time, parents and caregivers often use toys inappropriately. For example, most families would encourage their child to learn five body parts at the same time. I coach families to pick one body part (i.e., eyes) and make the eyes the target body part for several weeks. No need to rush; too much information for young children. When appropriate, we can then introduce a second body part (i.e., mouth) while reinforcing ‘eyes.’ It is important to consider field of two (eyes and mouth) and ask, “Where are the eyes?” or “Can you find the mouth?” The way we present and use the toys determines growth over time.

Whether families live in a city homeless shelter or in one of the city’s priciest neighborhoods, professional/illiterate, they all share the same vision: they would do almost anything to ensure that their child moves up the developmental ladder.

I want to continue to support families so that children can play to learn and families can learn to play. My goal is to support anyone working with children (parents, caregivers, preschools, head start programs, daycare centers, childcare providers, teachers, and child life programs).