Make Math Active with a Personal Record Book
In kindergarten, kids start to experiment with measurement for the first time. Eventually, that means learning to use a ruler, but at first, they “measure” with things like spoons, blocks, and paper clips. Make measurement fun by helping your child create his own personal record book. He'll record all his vital statistics, from head to toe, and create something fun to look back on when he's long past kindergarten…
What You Need:
- Blank book (or make one out of construction paper, and laminate)
- Paper clips
- Ball of string or yarn
- Paint tray or paper plate
- Stopwatch or timer
What You Do:
- If your child is game, recruit him to help with the lettering for the title page. If he needs help, you can write the title and date for him, but at the very least, he should write his own name.
- This book is a great excuse to get kids familiar with the concept of measurement, and to help them create something featuring their favorite subject…themselves. What you choose to include in the personal record book is really up to you, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Handprint: Pour paint into the tray or onto the paper plate. Dip the palm of your child's hand into the paint, then, spreading his fingers out so you'll get a clear print, press his hand firmly onto the page.
- Footprint: Follow the same directions with your child's foot and make a footprint on the next page.
- Height: Forget the ruler! Measure your child's height using the string, then cut the string at the appropriate mark. Lay it out on a table and give your child his “measuring tools”: paper clips, spoons, and hands. Ask him to figure out how many hands tall he is, how many paper clips tall, and how many spoons. Title a page, “How Tall Am I?” and record his answers in the record book.
- My Belly: How big is your child's waist? Use the string to find out. Then give him his measuring tools and record the answer.
- My Family: Your child is probably curious how his stats stack up to the other members of the family. Measure siblings, parents…even the family dog with string, and let your child repeat the process for each of them, recording their “measurements” in the book.
- Long Jump: Kindergarteners love to get active. Give your child a starting mark and ask him to jump as far as he can. Mark his landing spot with a paper clip. Then let him use his tools to measure how far he jumped. Write it down.
- Stamina: Counting is a key element of kindergarten math. Bring it off the page and into the real world, by asking your child to do as many pushups as he can in 1 minute, then as many sit-ups as he can in the same length of time. As he's doing each of these exercises, he should count out loud. Record the results in the record book.
- 100, Ho!: By the end of kindergarten, students are typically expected to be able to count from 1-100. Ask your child to count as high as he possibly can, then record the results, and the date. You can add updates throughout the year.
- Other Facts: This book is mostly about measurement, but why not throw in a few other interesting facts? Ask your child his favorite color, number, toy, game, food, and book. Let him tell you his best friend, his favorite vacation, and what he wants to be when he grows up. Then record the answers.
A Personal Record Book can be completed in an afternoon, or you can extend the exercise deep into the year, adding measurements in inches once your child learns to use a ruler, updating his jumping or counting prowess, or adding any other facts you'd like. Either way, it's a fun excuse to turn math active!