Monday, October 5, 2009



*Use vocabulary to define quantities and relationships and make comparisons
*Demonstrate concepts such as part and whole by sorting, matching, sequencing and classifying
*Form groups by sorting and matching
*Develop perceptual awareness skills
*Practice counting
*Experience-basic-addition/subtraction concepts
*Discover similarities and differences
*Develop small muscles, grasp and wrist rotation with puzzles and connecting pieces
*Develop three dimensional eye-hand coordination
*Make and repeat simple patterns using objects
*Discover color, shape, line and texture
*Work-on-persistence,-attention-and problem-solving skills

Getting Organized

For children to use puzzles and other small-scale manipulative materials, there needs to be a defined area for their use away from foot traffic. There should be small tables, benches and an open space with a floor mat where individuals or small groups can play games. Many varied and interesting materials can be assembled for use in this area – anything that invites children to construct, fit things together or develop patterns. Shelving at the child’s level, with picture and word labels for containers, will keep the area from becoming messy. Puzzles and manipulatives need to be rotated as children look for the next level of challenge.

Basic Equipment

*Puzzles of varying difficulty and puzzle rack
*Matching games
*Pattern blocks and patterns
*Linking and Lego-type materials
*Beads and string with bead patterns
*Button, zip, lacing and snap boards
*Light table with clear, colorful sorting and
patterning objects
*Counting objects
*Peg and geo boards
*Building sets/Legos
*Simple dominoes and Lotto games

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery
by Mark Van Doren

"Doing things well with their hands is important for many things children will learn in school. They need to be able to hold pencils and crayons correctly so they can learn to write and do mathematics. Play that involves the use of hands, muscles and eyes helps children develop coordination and problem-solving skills. Puzzles and pegboards give practice coordinating hand-eye movements. Simple number games aid the learning of concepts and functions of numbers. In particular, children this age need a lot of practice in digital dexterity – opening and closing items and using things without dropping, breaking or spilling them. If they can’t use their hands well, they will be afraid to try new things, and trying new things is an important way that children learn."

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