Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shaker Bottles and Math Foundations

Over the last few weeks, I have been saving and collecting various sizes and shapes of water bottles. I made enough for every student to have one during the latest story dance class. First we read an alphabet book that also features colors. We reviewed the colors before I handed out the shaker bottles. 

With shaker bottles in hand, I led the kiddos through a movement exploration exercise that explored location words - we shook the bottles in front, above, behind, to the side, down low,  and in between our legs! Then, of course, we got to free dance with them. Not only was this a fun, kinetic exploration on spatial awareness, but these words and concepts are also foundational math skills. 

We continued with our math skills at the end of class through bottle color-grouping and matching exercises. I encouraged students to find other students who's bottles were a similar color to their own bottle. For our cool down, I laid out different color felt squares. Then I called on students one at a time to bring up their bottle and put it on the corresponding color square (apparently I need more red bottles!). This part of the class also elicited a great discussion with the children about colors. For example, water in one bottle was a little bit blue and a little bit green - which square should it go on?

Young children are often mesmerized by the swirling objects inside the bottle. The ones I made also include letters of the alphabet, words, and fake fruit! Because the bottles also have some weight to them, the children are getting a good work-out, keeping their bodies healthy and strong while dancing, moving, playing, and learning.

 Making Shaker Bottles!

First, save a bunch of water bottles.

Then, make a trip to the local craft store for supplies - don't forget the food coloring and corn syrup from the grocers.

Then, go to town!

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