One of my goals this year was to really focus in on developing a strong number sense in my kindergarten friends. I want them to really grow in their understanding of how numbers work, what they mean, and how they relate to one another and to the world around us.
As with most anything, the best way to become stronger at something is to practice! I wanted a fun, simple way to incorporate more number sense into our day, so this year I am working hard at having daily, meaningful number talks EVERY day!
Each day, after the main calendar routine (which is pretty quick- you must keep everything at a good pace in kindergarten or I can promise you, you will lose them to floor rolling and carpet lint picking, just sayin’) we count the items in the “counting cup.” I use a plain container – any jar type item would work. Right now we are counting bears, but I change up the items every so often (tiles, cubes, etc).
Here is our example on the white board for the number 6.
I take a certain number in my hand (3 in the example below, but 4 when we did our equation) and we count how many are left out.
I guide them through the understanding that the number of bears in my hand, plus the number left out, equals the number we started with.
This may sound like it would take awhile, but I can assure it does not! Our whole calendar routine, including the number talk is 10 min max! Plus with turning and talking they are having engagement with peers and furthering their understanding (turn and talk is another thing I am trying to incorporate more and more!)
Probably the most rewarding thing I have seen (besides their understanding of numbers) from these number talks is this – A student doing number talks with their friends during our daily center/free exploration time. Made my heart happy!