Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lego Counting Mat

Exploring the possibilities!  I'm all for sharing and so I've finally taken the time to figure out how to create and link a pdf. file.  Fun!  :-)  Anyway...on Pinterest I came across Lego Counting Mats (  The original poster was actually a Geocities site and they are no longer so I decided that if I'm going to create these mats I might as well share them.  I left it black and white so that if you wish to add a color sorting component you can do it simply by coloring the Lego blocks the corresponding color of your own Legos.  I recommend laminating for durability.  Side note about lamination:  I use to print everything on cardstock.  $$$  So when I observed another preschool teacher printing on regular copy paper and laminating I watched how they held up with the children's use.  Guess what?!  They held up better because they were more flexible!  So very seldom to I use cardstock for my created activities that will be laminated.

Variations beyond the child building the towers and putting them on the mat...

*  Consider have them already built with a number sticker at the top.  They can be seriated by size (large to small/small to large).  Then the child can explore with matching the tower to the corresponding number on the mat.  This is a great visual of how numbers work...growing taller with each additional block.

*  Encourage the child to create a pattern with the colors of blocks. 

 *  Create each tower with it's own color.  This adds a color sorting component.  But you can also take two different towers and use them for addition exploration.

*  Explore with odd and even.  Legos are perfect for creating buddies- breaking apart and putting together.  They will then see the pattern to odd/even (and skip counting).  Might be beneficial to have each tower it's own color.

*  Nonstandard Measurement:  Encourage your child to find an object that measures closely to each tower.

* Instead of a number sticker, write the number word.  Match the word to the number on the mat.  This leads to self correction because it will be seriated from smallest to largest if they match the words correctly.

*  Remember to reinforce the concept of zero!

* The last column can be used for the child to create his own tower (preferably over 10 Legos) and write the number with dry erase marker.

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