Good morning math!

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!

By |2018-11-02T11:05:59+00:00April 3rd, 2017|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Darla Miller April 6, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

    I absolutely love this. My students have names they need to find and place it on a magnetic board. The attendance helper tells us if all of our friends are in school, if not they count how many are missing. Then they count the names on the whiteboard. Next, they count how many boys and how many girls are present. We do an addition problem and talk about more/less. It is amazing to see how the students make progress on these skills throughout the year.

  2. Ms Gladys February 2, 2018 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you, this really helps my children with math counting up and counting down as well. Amazing idea, cannot thank you enough.

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