As each new school year comes around, I add a little something here and there to spruce up the learning environment and to give me a little new inspiration in planning our program. This year, I added a new math table…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

This math table was originally a train table. For those of you who are not familiar with train tables, they are simple tables built low to the ground with a ledge all the way around the edge, and a fairly large surface for holding toy train tracks and train sets. Folks often sell their train tables when their young children grow out of train play and I bought one from a local yard sale. It was important to me to look for one with a white surface, not a painted surface. Not one to be limited to what manufactures or others say a table, toy, or even a box is supposed to be used for, I decided to take this old used train table and repurposes it as my math table…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

The train table provides a perfect space for play and exploration. So really it could be used for any kind of table in the classroom but I like it because it has edges to keep small parts from rolling off on the floor and the large white surface makes the best space ever for spreading out materials and creating large, fun, and interesting invitations to play…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

When my students arrive to preschool each morning, there is always an invitation to play set up on the math table. I suppose you could also call this our morning math activity however, my students also use the math table as a place to hang out and talk with each other. They gather around the table and explore the materials and I drop by to give information where needed or to hold conversations about what’s happening at the table…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

The morning math time seems to be when the children are at their best in terms of brain power and attention so the types of learning that goes on through this rather casual approach to math is really quite incredible…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

Someday, I will take the time to go back through the photos of our math table and be more specific in some of our invitations to play but here is a brief overview for now. I change the math table up once a week and then make minor changes as needed throughout the week…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

The children are in the habit of signing in then heading over to see what is at the math table to begin their day. Sometimes what is on the table goes along with a specific unit we are studying such as pizza…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

The math table helps us to focus on a specific skill or to introduce (or reinforce) a specific process or concept such as measuring, patterning, counting, estimating, graphing, and so on…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

Sometimes, the items put out on the math table are inspired by a specific holiday or event…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

Sometimes the invitation to explore math is very simple and on other occasions, I get a little carried away and start to make it a little complicated. I have found keeping it simple is so much better but I still can overdo it now and then…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

I love the size of the table because it invites the children to stretch and reach across. It also is the perfect size for my students to stand rather than sit at. I’ve noticed that standing up to explore is often better for the children who easily get bored or need to move often in order to stay on task…

At Play at the Math Table by Teach Preschool

I like to stop by the math table and sit with my students here and there to talk about math. The conversations seem very casual but in the back of my mind, there is always intention. In the process of teaching my students, I always make sure that I am also contributing to the play or experience rather than causing the children to lose their interest in some way…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

I can’t say enough about how much I have enjoyed having the math table this year. Having a designated math table that the children expect to walk in and explore each day also has kept me on my toes. It has made me really think about different concepts the children should be exploring or mastering and then make sure I am finding a creative and playful way to set it up for them…

At Play on the Math Table by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

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