What types of math activities are needed for the school aged child?
Incorporating math activities in your after school program is about challenging them to use what they already know in a practical sense rather than teaching them math facts. They know how to do the math, the learning center just needs to give them a puzzle or problem to solve and the children will find a way to get an answer. In addition, provide the necessary tools for drafting plans for their block structures or other designs of things they want to build and watch the active learning taking place.
In the area set aside for board games, there is the selection of purchased games and those from prior themes that anyone can choose to play at any time, but the “featured” games are the ones that directly support the current theme. Sometimes these are able to be purchased, but more often than not, they are games that have been specifically created or may be adapted from a similar game. For example, a set of oversized cards with pictures of Disney characters from various movies cut from coloring books and laminated onto construction paper for a matching game in one unit, continues to be in use years later through children’s story telling and acting performances, as well as many guessing types of games that the children create themselves.
Manipulatives for the school age program can be some of the same items used for math activities with the preschoolers, such as plastic counters of various shapes (i.e. bear counters, fruit counters, transportation counters, etc.) but used in a novel way. Where the preschooler uses these objects for counting activities, the school ager will want to create various challenges with them or use them for game pieces or to act out stories using miniature pieces. Teacher or child made puzzles or games can supplement the boxed varieties available.
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