Every morning when my students come to school, we jump right into a little loose parts good morning math!

What started out as a simple way for the children to “sign-in” has gradually turned into a wonderful way to promote simple math and more in our classrooms.

In both our preschool and pre-k classroom, the children start each day looking for their name on a wooden cookie or plastic bottle cap with a magnet on back then moving their name from “home” to ‘school.’

As we gather all the children together to start our day, we review the boards to see who has come to school. This simple process has led to so many math related discussions. How many are at school today? How many are still at home? How many children do we have total in our class? Are there more at home or at school? How many names start with the letter ‘L’. And the list goes on.

Because the children’s names are involved in the process, the children have a natural interest and love to explore all of the names in a variety of different ways. The children love to put all the first letters of their names together to see if they spell a word. They love to estimate how many children are at school then count out loud together to see if their guesses were on track. The children love to line up the loose parts or stack them to see how high the stack is when everyone is at school.

Through our loose parts sign-in, the children explore graphing, estimating, counting, measuring, and other math related processes. The children also compare and contrast their names, the letters in their names, the lengths of their names, and they quickly learn to recognize each other’s names.

A simple sign-in process that has taken on a whole world of possibilities as we follow the children’s interests and build on those interests. Super cool stuff!