Our theme for February is Nursery Rhymes and the above activity is from my Teacher’s Guide that is included in my monthly curriculum kit from Mother Goose Time. We had so much fun with it! Normally, a game like this would be played in a small group during our skill time. Fridays are a bit more relaxed as fewer children attend that day, so it seemed the perfect time to play a game with one child at a time. I always allow another child to look on as that is how many children learn; by observing first.
Each activity in the Teacher’s Guide has Discuss, Explore and Play prompts as well as the specific skills we will be working on. “1. 2, Buckle My Shoe” was the rhyme of the day and the math activity consisted of counting out the manipulatives (2 sets are included in the monthly box) and placing them on the math cards. The skills focused on in this activity are Number Concepts 15.2 and Fine Motor 5.1. There are also assessment questions for me to reflect upon under the activity. So, considering the questions, “Did the child count 6 nature items? Did he place them on the Counting Card spaces as he counted?” I made the following notes on my assessment sheet found on the Mother Goose Time website. I am always taking a ton of photos, too. Only first initials are used for confidentiality.
- K: Could id 6. Counted 5 objects using 1-to-1 correspondence. “1,2,3,4,5 and if you put one more here, then you have 6.”
- L: Could count 6 objects and id the number. Had difficulty counting 16 objects after number 12. Could not id 16.
- M. Once child counted each stick, he/she counted correctly (guessed the amount at first). He/she had 8 and quickly moved 2 away to make a group of 6 sticks.
- G. Could id 6, 16, count using 1-to-1 correspondence, needed a challenge so I got out other number cards. Child has improved counting skills, especially after item 12.
- I. Could id 6, 16, count using 1-to-1 correspondence, needed a challenge so I got out other number cards.
- H. Could id 6. He/she had 7 items, took 1 away. Had 5, added 1 more. Did 2 sets of 3 for 6.
- L. Could id 16. Had difficulty counting objects after item 12.
As a follow-up to my notes, I placed a reminder in my Teacher Guide to offer this activity again on Thursday of the following week. It will be a perfect activity to do with my kiddos going off to kindergarten. Follow up is crucial. Otherwise, we are just merely staying busy while recording anecdotal notes that will eventually pile up and possibly placed in the child’s folder. In the mean time, my assistant and I will play with the children and ask questions such as “How many blocks tall is your building?” or “How many cubes do you think you can line up across the table?” This will encourage counting through play and also give us an idea of their developing skills.
The items were left out all day so the children could continue playing with them. I observed their language skills as they made up stories and made fences out of sticks to corral their sheep. They practiced their social skills as well while friends entered their play and negotiated the use of certain pieces.
Authentic assessment in an early childhood setting should be play-based. Gone are the days of teachers pulling children out of the classroom to “test” them in a sterile room with flash cards and checklists. The children who participated in this activity had no idea they were being “assessed.” They are used to their teachers playing with them and this was yet another “game” they were able to play. You can read more about assessment and how Mother Goose Time supports you in this area here.
For those of you seeking accreditation, you may be interested in NAEYC’s postion statement on assessment as well. Mother Goose Time curriculum is aligned with NAEYC and you can find the document here.
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