Remember that old carnival game where you had to guess how many jellybeans were in a jar? Well, guessing is more than pure fun, it’s also a key part of kindergarten math. Here’s how to bring it to the breakfast table!
Box of cereal with just one general shape and size (ex. Cheerios or Chex)
What You Do:
The word estimation sounds a bit intimidating. Start by explaining to your child that when we estimate, we’re just making a good guess about how many of something we see.
Ask your child to scoop out a spoonful of cereal using the spoon. Then ask her to estimate how many pieces are on the spoon, without counting them.
Once she’s made her guess, count the cereal pieces together. Ask your child, “Was your estimate close?” and “Were there more or less pieces on the spoon than you thought?”
Dump the spoonful of cereal into the plastic baggie. Then scoop a few more spoonfuls into the bag (four is plenty) and ask your child to estimate the total. Once she’s guessed, count the cereal pieces in the baggie and ask the same two questions, “Was your estimate close?” and “Were there more or less pieces than you thought?”
Dump the contents of the baggie into a bowl and add some more cereal to it. Ask your child to estimate how many pieces are in the bowl. Now pour in some milk, and have her count as she eats them up to see how close she got!
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.