Each week, I set up an invitation to explore some kind of math process at the math table. It can be anything from a pretend apple market to sorting buttons, to building with blocks. An invitation to explore math might be connected to a story we are reading while others might be connected to other topics the children and I have been discussing. Today’s invitation to make a simple pattern was connected to our recent exploration of circles…

Let's make a pattern!

I don’t know if you love bottle caps and lids as much as I do but I never, ever throw one away. I love the bright colors and the possible ways I can use them in my classroom for math, art, story telling, and more. I am such an avid lid collector that my whole family has become bottle cap and lid collectors too…

Let's make a pattern!

A couple of hints about collecting lids…

  1. Do run all bottle caps and lids through a dishwasher. I toss them in the silverware basket and wash them. I noticed if you wash them by hand or even rinse them, chances are you will miss some of the juice, milk, or other that hides in the rims of the lids and that shows up after time. A good hot dishwasher washing is a must do!
  2. Do use them for playing games, as counting tokens in your math center, for art in the art center, for play in the water table, and even for coins in a pretend store.  I like relating the classroom to everyday items the children have at home so there is a home/school connection.
  3. If you have students who want to put them in their mouths, then lids probably aren’t right for those students at this time without lots of monitoring from you.

Let's make a pattern!

At our math table, the children were invited to explore the process of making simple AB patterns with their lids. Some children were ready for more complex patterns while some needed to stick with a simple pattern. First the children lined up the lids into a pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

Then it was time to check over the pattern and see if any adjustments needed made…

Let's make a pattern!

If satisfied with their pattern, then it was time to draw their pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

As you can see, the children had LOTS of colorful lids to choose from…

Let's make a pattern!

After drawing their patterns, the children were invited to set the lids back in the center of the table and take their drawings home with them. Now the table was ready for someone else to stop by and take a turn!

Let's make a pattern!

Links to Grow On…

Creating with Lids in Preschool!

Learning with Lids in Preschool!