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We are getting excited. Our trip to the ocean is right around the corner, and in honor of that I have been implementing some ocean themed activities throughout our day.

Of course there is a lot of reading going on. My kiddos love books. (Well, my 5 year old loves being read to, just not the act of reading.  I really hope that this changes as he becomes more comfortable with it.)

Anyway, we took our weekly trip to the library and picked up an arm full of books on oceans and the seas. The boys are enthralled with them, and we have had fun drawing pictures about what we are learning. One of their favorites is OCEANS AND SEAS. It has very detailed pictures, and you can often find us sprawled out on the floor analyzing the pictures and the extra facts provided.

Though reading is fun, I was excited when I was able to bring the ocean into our math time.

First, we have an octopus and crab calendar. My newly turned four year old is doing great at noticing the AB pattern, while my 5 year old is starting to recognize odd and even numbers.


Next, we started our math journal. As a former upper grade elementary teacher, I am a big fan of math journals. Almost daily our students would have a problem to solve. Obviously, they were required to solve it, but we wanted them to go deeper. We asked them to draw pictures or models, explain how they solved in detail, and write out the equations they used.

We saw great success when the students went into depth on one word problems instead of just figuring out answers to a row of problems.

My five year old is not ready to go into that depth, but I want to go ahead and set that type of standard for him.

I created 10 word problems that focus on adding and subtracting within 10, and also made sure each problem used math terms such as more than, less than, greater, less, taller, ect. (For those who need to know how this relates to common core check out K.CC.6, K.OA.1, and K.OA.2).

And for the fun part, we added ocean graphics to use as manipulatives.

His first day of math journaling went great. Both boys enjoyed pulling out the scissors and getting to use their glue. We talked about making a picture of our word problem, and how to label it. The first one was easy, but that will get a little harder over the next few days.

The boys labeled their paper with Monday and Tuesday and glued the appropriate number of fish under each day.

We did a quick review on what altogether meant, and both of my boys were able to tell me how many fish they had altogether.

We have been working on equations for awhile so, this was pretty easy for them too. My 4 year old had to go back to his picture to figure out his equation, but with a small amount of prompting was able to be successful. If you haven’t worked on this with your children, you will have to do it for them and share your thinking while you do this. We talk equations all the time, and my guest post on This Reading Mama shares some practical and easy ways we do this. Start adding them into daily life, and you will be surprised how quickly your little ones pick up on this important skill.

I can’t wait to do another page with them tomorrow, and watch their math thinking flourish. Let me know how they work for you, and what type of fun thinking you observe.

You’ve Got This

To Get the Calendar pieces click HERE

To Get the Word Problems click HERE