I have this giant bulletin board hanging in what used to be our formal dining room, and is now in my office/library/homeschooling room…
I am aware that it is not entirely normal for one to have a classroom-sized bulletin board in one’s home, even if that one is homeschooling.
BUT, OH WELL.
Here it is on display in our eat-in-kitchen, where it remained for the month of August before we relocated it to the office (holding school in our cramped kitchen was threatening to swallow up all semblance of normalcy and order that we had remaining around here).
As you probably would have guessed, putting up fantastic bulletin boards in my classroom was something I used to enjoy very much when I worked in the public school system.
I loved, and still do love, creating
inspirational environments that invite learning.
Good bulletins boards can help with this, and interactive ones are the best, of course!
We recently created a mural on half of our bulletin board, which features a town and county side, some summer-y activities, and a big green leafy tree. We’ll be keeping this up for the next 2 months, and will slowly change it to a fall scene as the weather changes.
I’ll be posting about creating seasonal murals at some point soon (kids LOVE love LOVE making them).
But today, I want to show you how we use our bulletin board PRIMARILY for our
MORNING MATH MEETING.
We try to start every single day of school at this bulletin board,
where we go through a whole bunch of important skills.
For you mamas of preschoolers and kindergartners…even if you are not homeschooling, you may want to consider establishing some kind of daily math routine with your kiddos.
My homeschool-mommy friend, Jamie, was the first one to encourage me to do this.
No joke, there are a TON of skills that a “morning math meeting” can reinforce, long before your kids are ever doing paper and pencil activities.
And no, you don’t actually NEED a giant bulletin board in your house to do this.
You could get away with a much smaller cork board JUST FINE.
I just happened to have this ginormous board (which actually has a map printed on it) sitting in my storage unit, saved from who knows when.
If you homeschool and use Saxon Math, you could simply use your morning meeting workbook. Much of our morning meeting is similar to their routine, though I’ve added quite a bit more to ours.
And to be quite honest, I am amazed how much my 5 year old has mastered in the past 5 weeks of school, because of this daily routine.
So, however you do it–
establish your little routine, and do it daily.
Best time is probably right at the breakfast table, or after morning devotions, when they’re all cheery and bright-eyed, and ready to learn.
So, here is what we do, in order, EVERY SINGLE (school) DAY:
The Morning Math Meeting
Time: 10 minutes (15 max)
- Sing the Days of the Week song together, then identify the current day of the week.
- Change out our “Yesterday was…Today is…Tomorrow will be…” cards (and practice reading our sentence–gotta sneak a little reading into math meeting).
- Find today’s date, say it, and write it on our meeting strip (provided by Saxon Math, but you could just have your child write it on a whiteboard or in a notebook).
- Add the pattern piece for the day to the big calendar, and draw it in the small calendar
(Ex: this month’s pattern is an AABC pattern, using circle, circle, rectangle, triangle as our pattern pieces)
Set the Clock
- We check the digital time, then set our wooden clock to match.
We do this again at lunch and in the afternoon.
…kids take turns holding the pointer stick
(light sabers work great too)
and together we:
- Count by 1s up to 100
- Count by 5s up to 100
- Count by 10s up to 100
This is followed by
- Mom jumping around while doing silly dances and rhyming chants involving skip counting 🙂
Counting up to 100th Day of School:
- Use place value cups to move a new Popsicle stick (or toothpick, etc) into the 1s category for the new school day
- Regroup sticks into bundles as needed
- Write the current number on our 100-day track in our meeting journal.
- Locate (on 100s chart) and discuss the number of the day (ex: 28th day of school–“28 is 20 and 8. What comes before it; after it?” etc)
- Look outside, check the skies, & (optional) check forecast online
- Fill in weather graph in math meeting book, and answer:
- What kind of weather have we had the most of? The least? Etc.
- NEXT, we dress our “WEATHER PEOPLE” for the day’s weather!
NOTE: This part takes us a couple of minutes, because it is a really BIG deal for them, and the preschooler as well as the kindergartner greatly enjoys it.
We have several cute little homemade outfits to choose from, and accessories to boot! So, generally, I let ’em have at it, while I pour myself another cup of coffee. 🙂
Hmm, maybe I’ll do a post about the weather people, cuz they kind of deserve their own little debut.
|Here are our weather kids: Eden, Siah, and Joshua! All getting dressed for a partly sunny day! 🙂
- Review left and right using anything on the calendar, in the room, or on your child.
Ex: “touch the cup on the right,” “point to the shape on the left,” “touch your right foot,” “Face me. What do you see to your left?” ETC.
Coin Bag …and Jelly Bean Machine:
- Kids pull out any one coin (we use real coins), and identify it by name and tell its worth.
- As the year goes on, a few coins will be pulled out at once, and ADDED up.
- Finally–their coin is then used to BUY jellybeans from our jellybean machine!
**This is the last thing we do each day in our meeting, and by including this small step (what kid doesn’t like money and candy?) I can ALMOST ALWAYS get my 3 year old to stick around for the whole 10 minute meeting.
Also, our machine is cheapo and dysfunctional, so 1 of any coin actually yields a completely random number of jelly beans each time it’s inserted, so it’s kind of like a jellybean lottery! But this is the one I REALLY want to get at some point. 🙂
OK. I think…that’s it.
It looks like quite a bit (and it does teach a huge amount of skills, which can be developed and expanded as your learners grow), but it takes a relatively short amount of time to do all of it.
After we get this 10 minute routine in, I am feeling GREAT about all we have ALREADY accomplished and reviewed for the day.
Just multiply this routine by 180 days (of school) and imagine how well they’ll know all of these skills!
As the year progresses, I may drop the “Math” part of it, and just call it a “Morning Meeting” as we add in some more writing and reading routines too.
If you homeschool or teach, and you do your own Morning Meeting, please pass along (in the comments section below) any tips or ideas that work well for you!
Have a happy, homeschooling day!