A few weeks back, a friend inspired me with her creative use of vinyl stickers. During a play date, she gave the kids pages of stickers and let them decorate her windows. At home, we also had a collection of re-usable stickers that come with pre-designed sheets, (Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad: Vehicles – 165+ Reusable Stickers – affiliate link) but it was fun to break the mold a bit and let the kids just start putting the stickers all over the window and make up their own story scenes as they went.
As I watched them play, I thought this might be a good opportunity to practice some grouping skills with the boys and work in an introduction to graphs. I grabbed some dry-erase markers and drew up simple horizontal and vertical axes on the window, with numbers going up the side and categories of objects going across. (trains, cars, planes, people) N caught on pretty quickly and had fun searching out like objects from the sticker pages, deciding which category they fit into, and stacking them so they lined up with the numbers on the vertical axis. It turned out to be a pretty successful (based on his level of interest) “math lesson” for the day ~ this always makes the ex-math-teacher mama bear happy :).
Before their interest petered out, I squeezed in a few follow-up questions about which category had more/less than another, similarities and differences between the categories, how many objects were in a combination of the columns (adding objects), and what units of measurement we could use to describe the groups (for example: if we were talking about trains and cars, we could say “vehicles,” but if we included people in the grouping and counted all of them we would have to use a different unit of measurement like “stickers” or “pieces.”)
If you can think of any ways this activity could be adapted or extended, let me know! And we’d be happy to hear of any sticker bar graphs gracing your windows :).
Download your own Journal pages
I later went back and created an 8 page interactive math journal mini-unit to extend this activity and make it something that we could keep in our math journals.
This would be great for pre-K – 2nd grade. Kids take surveys of friends or family members and turn the data into bar graphs. I have this listed for sale for $1.00 in my store — you can check it out here for further details on the product. I also have several other free and dollar journal page activities there. Here’s a preview of 4 of the 8 pages:
I hope this activity helps you enjoy some math time with your children today! 🙂
Other Math Monday posts:
- Ten-frame math with seashells
- Cotton Ball Algebra
- RightStart curriculum
- Exponential Growth (for kids)
Teaching and Learning Products
To see my series of activity-based lesson packs and other learning resources (Pre-K – 12th grade), you can visit my store at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sandra-Balisky