Math at Home Math Access for Teachers
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Mealtime: Same/Different
 
Math Component Routine
  • Numbers and Operations
    Operations and Algebra
    Data and Probability
  • Meal Time

 

 

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Make adaptations

Snapshot of Development: 0 to 6 Months

Play:

Infants begin by using their eyes to explore toys and then begin to use their hands and mouths to explore. Their play is primarily shaking, banging and mouthing. At the end of this stage, they begin to look for dropped toys and may find a partially hidden object.

Communication:

Young infants recognize their parents and familiar caregivers. They smile and laugh during playful interactions, such as peek-a-boo. They make early cooing and babbling sounds.

Motor:

When on their tummies, infants learn to hold their head up and reach for toys. They begin to reach and grasp for objects, beginning with the care-givers clothes and hair and then moving to toys and objects. At the end of this stage, many infants may help hold their own bottle and help bring the bottle to their mouths. They may also begin to take pureed food from a spoon.

 

Obtain materials Materials:
  • Bib
  • Bottle
  • Identical Spoons (2)
  • Bowl
  • Pureed fruits and vegetables

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

 

Engage the children Interactions:

Bottle-Feeding:

Young infants understand SAME and DIFFERENT though routine.  The daily routine of feeding the baby by placing the bib on first and then giving the infant the bottle teaches the infant – SAME. To help an infant begin to understand DIFFERENT, before feeding the infant show her the bib and bottle, for very young infants encourage the infant to look from one object to the other.  For infants who are reaching encourage the infant to reach for both.

Spoon-Feeding:

When spoon feeding allow the infant to hold an empty spoon.  In between bites tap your spoon to the infant’s spoon, say “SAME.”  Then tap your spoon to the bowl say “DIFFERENT.”  When the meal is finished allow the infant to play with the spoons and empty bowl.  When the infant picks up a spoon, pick up the other spoon and tap it to spoon in the infant’s hand, say “SAME.”  Then pick up the bowl and tap the bowl to the spoon the infant is holding and say “DIFFERENT.”

 

 

Make adaptations

Snapshot of Development: 6 to 12 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, play is mostly shaking, banging, and mouthing toys. By the end of this stage, infants begin to combine objects that go together in play. They reach for and hold two objects and may begin to reach for a third. Many infants will look for dropped toys and find partially and completely hidden toys. Many infants enjoy taking things out and putting things into containers.

Communication:

At this age, infants respond when their name is called. They may turn their head, make eye contact and sometimes smile and vocalize. They may look for family members and pets when called by name. They may respond to simple requests made with gestures, such as, “Come here,” and they may understand “No” or “Stop.” They may lift their arms to be picked up, clap hands, and wave bye-bye. They love to shout and squeal and may be babbling with many different sounds. They may be participating in and sometimes initiating peek-a-boo.

Motor:

During this stage, many infants begin to sit by themselves and play. They begin to move by rolling, crawling, and cruising. They pick up toys by using a raking motion with their whole hand and by the end of this stage they are using their fingers and thumbs to pick up small objects. They may feed themselves small bits of food.

 

Obtain materials Materials:
  • Bib
  • Identical Sippy cups (2)
  • Identical Spoons (2)
  • Bowls (2)
  • Food – mashed food and finger foods

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

 

Engage the children Interactions:

Cup Drinking:

Pour only small amounts in each sippy cup.  When the infant picks up a cup, say “cup,” pick up the other and tap it to the cup the infant is holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  Next tap a spoon to the cup the infant is holding and say “DIFFERENT, one spoon and one cup.” 

Hold up one sippy cup and wait for the infant to tap her sippy cup on the cup you are holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  If the infant does not imitate and tap your cup, tap the infant’s cup with your cup, “say SAME, two cups.”

Hold up one spoon and wait for the infant to tap her sippy cup on the spoon you are holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  If the infant does not imitate and tap the spoon, tap the infant’s cup with the spoon, “say DIFFERENT, one cup and one spoon.”

Spoon Feeding:

Prepare two small bowls with DIFFERENT foods for eg. pears and sweet potatoes.  Offer the infant two spoonfuls of pears, with the first spoonful say “pears,” with the second spoonful say “pears, SAME.” Offer the infant a spoonful of sweet potatoes, say “sweet potatoes, DIFFERENT.”  Continue offering the infant spoonfuls of food, sometimes the SAME twice in a row and sometimes alternating, saying the name of food with each spoonful and stating whether it was the “SAME” or “DIFFERENT” from the previous spoonful.

Finger Foods:

Place two types of finger foods on the infant’s tray for eg. cheerios and bits of banana.  Allow the infant to begin finger feeding. Pick up a cheerio and a piece of banana, ask the infant “cheerio or banana.” Allow the infant to choose, if the infant chooses the SAME food that she chose from the tray say “(name of the food) SAME.”  If the infant chooses the opposite food from the food she chose from the tray say “(name of the food) DIFFERENT.”  Continue to allow the infant to feed herself, naming food as she picks it up and saying, “(name of the food)  SAME” if she chooses the SAME food and saying “(name of the food)  DIFFERENT” if she chooses the other.

 

Make adaptations

Snapshot of Development: 12 to 18 Months

Play:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are imitating the use of everyday objects, such as cups and spoons. This moves into early pretend play where the infant may feed you, or pretend to drink from a cup or eat off of an empty spoon. They also are great imitators and may enjoy imitating daily activities. They may enjoy putting multiple objects in containers and systematically searching for hidden toys and objects. Many infants will pat pictures in books and sometimes vocalize while looking at books.

Communication:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants begin to respond to one step directions, such as, “Give me the ball.” They may need gestures to help them understand the direction. At the end of this stage, many infants follow a related two-step direction without the help of gestures, such as, “Get the ball and give it to Daddy.” They may be pointing to ask for wants and needs and to ask you to name objects. At around 12 months of age, many infants say 1-3 words on their own and by the end of this stage may say up to 15 or more words. Many infants play turn-taking games at this stage.

Motor:

At the beginning of this stage, many infants are crawling and cruising to get around, and by the end of this stage, infants are walking with good balance. They may also enjoy walking while carrying large objects and pulling toys. When given a crayon for the first time, they may mouth the crayon or mark the paper. By the end of this stage, many infants are scribbling on paper. They may be starting to scoop food with a spoon and actually get some to their mouths. Infants may also be using a straw or open cup to drink.

 

Obtain materials Materials:
  • Bib
  • Identical Open Cups (2)
  • Identical Spoons (2)
  • Bowls (2)
  • Table food

Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.

 

Engage the children Interactions:

Cup Drinking:

Pour only small amounts in each open cup.  When the infant picks up a cup, say cup, pick up the other open cup and tap it to the cup the infant is holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  Next tap a spoon to the cup the infant is holding and say “DIFFERENT, one spoon and one cup.” 
Hold up one open cup and wait for the infant to tap her open cup on the cup you are holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  If the infant does not imitate and tap your cup, tap the infant’s cup with your cup, say “SAME, two cups.”

Hold up one spoon and wait for the infant to tap her open cup on the spoon you are holding, say “SAME, two cups.”  If the infant does not imitate and tap the spoon, tap the infant’s cup with the spoon, “say DIFFERENT, one cup and one spoon.”

Spoon Feeding:

Prepare two small bowls with DIFFERENT foods for eg. pears and sweet potatoes.  Assist the infant hand over hand to scoop some pears on the spoon and bring it to her mouth.  Repeat with a second spoonful of pears and “say pears, SAME.”  Assist the infant hand over hand to scoop some sweet potatoes and bring it to her mouth, say “sweet potatoes, DIFFERENT.”  Continue assisting the infant to spoon feed, sometimes the SAME twice in a row and sometimes alternating, saying the name of food with each spoonful and stating whether it was the “SAME” or “DIFFERENT” from the previous spoonful.

Finger Foods:

Place two types of finger foods on the infant’s tray for eg. cheerios and bits of banana.  Allow the infant to begin finger feeding. Pick up a cheerio and a piece of banana, ask the infant “cheerio or banana.” Allow the infant to choose, if the infant chooses the SAME food that she chose from the tray say “(name of the food) SAME.”  If the infant chooses the opposite food from the food she chose from the tray say “(name of the food) DIFFERENT.”  Continue to allow the infant to feed herself, naming food as she picks it up and saying, “(name of the food) SAME” if she chooses the SAME food and saying “(name of the food) DIFFERENT” if she chooses the other.

 

Reflections on this Lesson

How might you teach the math lesson-SAME and DIFFERENT during other daily activities and routines?

What books do you have in your child care setting, that include the math concept – SAME and DIFFERENT?

What songs or finger plays do you typically use in your child care setting support the math concept – SAME and DIFFERENT?

 


 

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