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Cognition / Mathematics

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

School Readiness Goal:

Children will demonstrate knowledge of simple math concepts, including the ability to count up to 10. Alignment Reference: Teaching Strategies GOLD: Obj. 20 GELDS: CD-MA1


1. Supervised activity: All you need is a piece of poster board, 2 paper cups, 2 paper towel roll insides, a basket or a plastic bowl, beads and a marker to draw the plus sign. These are all simply taped to the poster board using packaging tape. The children put the first set of counting items in the first cup, and the other child puts the second set in the second cup. They all fall through to the basket, and then they count them all up.

2.  Crocodile Counting:

3.  It’s like the rock paper scissors game except we say, “Rock, paper, number!” and each player holds up as many fingers as they want. Then we count all the fingers and point to the correct number written on the sheet of paper. (You could also practice writing the number together.)

4.  Make a number board. Every week focus on a new number. A couple examples below:

5.  Place the correct number of pompoms in the cupcake holder. Submitted by Tiffany Edgerton.

6.  Roll the die and put the corresponding number of cotton balls on the snowman. Grid game activity Submitted by Tiffany Edgerton.

7.  Spin the number and move the correct spaces to the garage. Short path game submitted by Tiffany Edgerton.

8.  Roll the die and count that many spaces to move. Long path game submitted by Tiffany Edgerton.

9.  Counting activities occur all day long, using books, games, and even the clock. Each child plays at their own level of ability and continues to learn by watching their peers. Submitted by Darlene Carver.

10. Walk/Jump the number line, Repeat backwards, Skip counting 

11. Matching numbers or quantities

12. Number Dots (a touch and count activity) Put the correct number of dots for the number shown, number representation.

School Readiness Goal:

Children will demonstrate a basic understanding of spatial relationships, shapes and colors. Alignment Reference: Teaching Strategies GOLD: Obj. 21 GELDS: CD-MA5 & CD-MA6


1.  Put simple paper cutouts numbered one through six on the floor. (I cut them into different shapes from different colored paper so we could review shapes and colors at the same time. Plus it’s easier to give clues if they’re not sure of a number.) To play the game, the child rolls a die, counts the dots, and stands on the corresponding number.

2.  Using an interest a child has or even a theme related something and cups, ask questions like “Where is batman?” Let the child answer you and if the child answers correctly repeat what the child says and then move and ask again.

3.  Tape the outline of different shapes to the floor. Use a bean bag to toss in onto a shape. Hop to the shape and discuss what it is, using questions and statements like. “What makes this a square? “It has 4 corners, 4 lines that are all the same size, from every direction the square looks the same.”

4.  Make a “Shape Song.”

5.  Popsicle Shapes

6.  Little Mouse Felt Board Story Before playing this game with the child(ren), place all the houses on the flannel board and then hide the mouse behind one of the colored houses. Tell the children….”look at all the little houses we have. They are all different colors. Can you tell me the colors we have?  We have a orange house, a blue house, a green house, etc. But we have a problem. We don’t know which house the little mouse is hiding in. Will you help me find her? Let’s call for her…. “Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?” Slowly peel back the house to see if the mouse is under the house. “She wasn’t in that house, which house should we try next?” Ask the child(ren) to choose a color, and repeat the chant.

7.  Activities: Stencils, shape matches, and games like- WEDGITS , all help to develop shape recognition. Submitted by Darlene Carver.

School Readiness Goal:

Children will demonstrate the ability to sort and classify objects. Alignment Reference: Teaching Strategies GOLD: Obj. 22 & 23 GELDS: CD –MA4


1.  Match paint strip samples (found in the paint section of Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot) and Pom Poms.

2.  Place the shape in the correct bag.

3.  Number Match in the Sensory Table.

4.  Number match with cars and a pizza box in the block center.

5.  Sort shapes into the correct ice tray spot. Make it more challenging by using tongs.

6.  Sort day and night objects with sensory bottles.

Find little items to help classify day and night. How to make the bottles: Day Sky Bottle Water Blue food coloring (blue sky) Sparkly white pom poms (to represent clouds) Small blue sequins (just for fun) Pour it all in and shake shake shake! Night Sky Bottle Hot water About 1/2 bottle of corn syrup Black liquid watercolors (food coloring would work, too) Silver glitter (regular size) Silver, gold, translucent, and dark blue fine glitter (provided by Craft Project Small silver star sequins For this bottle mix the corn syrup with the hot water in a bowl until it dissolved, then add the rest of the ingredients before pouring it all into the bottle. Use LOTS of glitter for maximum sparkle. Use corn syrup to slow the movement of the glitter and sequins through the water.  After adding ingredients to the bottles, be sure to sealed the tops with glue to ensure that they will stay closed.

7.  Feed the monster the right color!

8. Sort feelings.

9.  Sort textures.

10.  Animal Habitat Sorting

11. Classroom game – BUSY BUGS – contains different levels of activities as the children develop the skills. Pattern play can happen in every center and outdoors. Submitted by Darlene Carver.

12. Rulers, a tape measure, measuring cups, and games, all help the children learn the skill of measuring. Submitted by Darlene Carver.

13. Activities: Classroom graphs can be related to the weekly theme or daily activities. Graphs can be varied in style and subject matter. Submitted by Darlene Carver.

14. On the How many live in your home graph- We talk about families and then let children use one unifix cube to represent each person in the home. We then count and graph the results to see who has the most/least people in their home. We do this activity during our family unit. Submitted by Judy Smith and Kerie Craven from CS Pre-K

15. On the Shoe Graph- We sort shoes by fastenings or type of shoe. The groupings seen here are-Tie shoes, boots, and slip on shoes. Children sort their own shoe and then get to pick another child's shoe to match it when the graph is complete. You can count the shoes, see how many, what group has less/more. We do this activity in the winter when we talk about how to dress for cold temps. Submitted by Judy Smith and Kerie Craven from CS Pre-K

16. Foods made from milk sorting. Lily Tipton and Darlene Carver from BW HS

17. Adding with chain links

18. Sort and classify leaves on a leaf hunt

19. Make patterns outside using items found in nature

20. Action Cards for things bigger and smaller Indoors or Outdoors

21. Measuring

Submitted by Ashley Shropshire Quality Mentor

22. Number Recognition Submitted by Ashley Shropshire Quality Mentor

23. Graphs Submitted by Ashley Shropshire Quality Mentor

24. Numbers Submitted by Ashley Shropshire Quality Mentor

25. Math rules Submitted by Ashley Shropshire Quality Mentor

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