Corey’s Pretend Party

The Activities

  1. Topic: Charts: Book: “What do you like?”  This book is about kids voting to plan a party, and using various types of graphs to find out what wins.
  2. Topic: Charts: Show the kids 6 different ways to vote on features for my pretend birthday party: Food, Drink, Ice Cream Flavor, (Party Favor), Location, Game. Each kids votes on each item, and then takes on of the charts around to the parents so they can vote too.  Afterward, we’ll figure out which item won each vote, and compare it to the kids in the book.

    Which game should we play?

    What food should we have?

  3. Topic: Probability: Probability Race. Which number will be the first to be rolled 5 times on two dice?  Kids roll two dice, and color in the square corresponding to the sum of the dice.

    Probability Race.

  4. Topic: Sequences, Logic: Story Sequence cards. Arrange story pictures in the order they happened.

How did it go?

Five kids attended circle this week.

My Pretend Party

I told the kids that we were going to plan a pretend birthday party for me.  I read a book called ‘What do you like?’ about kids planning a block party. Each time the kids in the book voted, I had our kids vote too.

 The first was to vote for the party location: park, house, or Pump It Up.  You voted by writing your name under the one you wanted. All the kids voted for Pump It Up.

 The next vote was for the snacks at the party: pretzels, popcorn, carrots, cheese, apples.  You voted by putting a tick mark next to the one you want.   

The next vote was for drinks: oj, lemonade, milk or water. You voted by drawing a circle in a horizontal line next to the thing you want. I picked water. The kids were split on milk or lemonade.  One kid seemed to be voting based on the color of the circle (milk was a pinkish circle).

The next vote was for the game at the party: tag, musical chairs, or treasure hunt.  You voted by coloring in a rectangle above the one you wanted, making a bar chart.  I voted for musical chairs, most kids voted for treasure hunt.  There was a lot of excited discussion about the various choices, for example Kid #1 said that they played musical chairs at Kid #2’s party, and Kid #3 said he had never done a treasure hunt before.

The final vote was for a kind of ice cream: mint, mango, chocolate, or vanilla. You voted by writing your name on a line and filling in a circle for the one you want, lined up with your name. Like a scan tron.  The kids had a hard time with this type of chart, they didn’t want to skip circles, so they would fill in circles that were on lines for other people’s names.

Next, I gave one chart to each kid and spread them out across two tables. Then I had the parents rotate through the stations and the kid explained how to vote to the parent.  The kids enjoyed this.

After everyone voted, we came together and looked at each kid’s chart to see what had won, counting up the votes.  Everyone was really engaged in this activity.

Probability Race

We reviewed the result of last week’s race (6 had won).  We started rolling, and the kids were pretty good about letting the person whose turn it was count the dots. We only had to roll about 12 times before 5 won the race.

Story Sequences 

One story showed: 1. bottle of bubbles,  2. a boy blowing one bubble, and  3. a boy with many bubbles in the air.  Kid #1 ordered them as 2,3,1, and I told the story: “Once a boy blew a bubble. The he blew more bubbles.” The kids filled in the last bit, saying the boy ran out of bubbles or the bubbles all popped.  Kid #2 said there was another way to do the story and ordered them 1,2,3, explaining that the boy hadn’t opened the bubbles yet.

The next pictures were: 1. chicken looking at egg, 2. egg hatching, 3. chick eating worms, 4. big chicken.  Kid #3 ordered them as 1, 2, 3, 4, and told the story herself.

The next pictures were: 1. person mixing batter 2. person rolling dough, 3. person cutting cookies, 4. plate of cookies.  Kid #4 was unsure at first, but then organized them 1,2,3,4 and told the story coherently.  I pretended to feed the cookies to the kids, which caused a moment of wildness as everyone insisted they must eat the heart cookie.  I said there were enough because they were pretend cookies, and eventually they calmed down.


She Got to Count First Last Time!

The Activities

  1. Topic: Addition: Book: Math Fables Too by Tang. We did #3, 5, and 10. The kids liked this book but it wasn’t very mathy.
  2. Topic: Sets, Attributes. Given a pair of Attribute Blocks, identify the differences between them. For example, a thick, big, blue square vs a thick, small, blue, circle.  Differences: Size and Shape.
  3. Differences: Size, Color, Thickness.

    3. Topic: Patterns, Spatial Reasoning: Make simple patterns on the Pegboard, and have the kids extend the pattern.  Make a butterfly on the pegboard, and have the kids copy it.

    Two patterns that the kids extended.

    A cocoon on the left. A butterfly on the right.

How did it go?

We had 4 kids at circle this week.

Attribute Blocks

The kids took turns identifying differences between pairs of shapes. They were all pretty good at this, though there was some confusion between hexagons and octagons.

At the end of this activity, I told the kids they could all touch the shapes.  Everyone grabbed a bunch, and two kids started arguing because they both wanted to count all the shapes.  Eventually they counted the shapes together.

Now the kids started to get really wild, and my daughter started whining about wanting another cookie and pouting when I wouldn’t let her.

At this point I asked the kids if there were more blue shapes or yellow ones.  Kid #1 counted them both and decided there were more blue.

Aret there more triangles or circles? Kid #2 and #3 started arguing again about who should get to count.  I said it was Kid #3’s turn, but she didn’t want to count triangles, she insisted on counting red shapes. So I let Kid #2 count them, but she decided to count red shapes also.  This was a tricky situation as both kids were really arguing, and Kid #3 was putting her hands on Kid #2.


The pegboard is a key material in “Math from Three to Seven” by Alexander Zvonkin.  However, he only had 2 or 3 kids in his circles, while we have 6.  Based on today, I think the pegboard does not work well for larger groups of kids, since everyone wants to touch it at once, and only one kid can use it at a time.

The kids loved touching the board, and were fully capable of continuing patterns like: red, yellow, red, yellow.  Or blue green green blue green green.

Next we made cocoons. I made a line of four pegs in one color, and asked the kids to make the same line in another color.  Finally we turned the cocoons into butterflies by changing one line into a square and having the kids make the other wing.  This was easy for everyone.

After this the kids wanted to add antenae to their butterfiles, which I allowed.