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Here you can find some ideas on numeracy concepts and activities that you can cover and do with your children on the topic 'My Special Name' and after reading the book ‘Chrysanthemum’ by Kevin Henkes. You can also download some free printables related to each concept.
Let your children practice counting one - to - one correspondence, through counting the number of letters in their names. If you have a kindergarten class you can get them to compare their names with their friends, to find out who has longer or shorter names, the longest or shortest name and who has name with the same number of letters. This will help them develop their sense of numbers. Some example of the activities that you can do are:
Building Name Towers or Name Train
Children can create name towers / trains using Unifix cubes and dot stickers for them to write their names. You can decide to let them build their names vertically like a tower or horizontally like a train.
With their name towers / trains, they count the number of letters in their name and compare their towers / train with their friends to see who has taller tower or longer train. Ask children, why? If they can tell you because 'so and so has more / less letters in his name' you know they have good sense of number.
It is also fun for them to arrange their towers / trains to see who has the longest name, shortest name as well as how many people have names of the same lengths.
Name Counting Printable
A simple printable suitable for both pre-k and kindergarten levels. They can practice to write their names as well as counting the numbers of letters in their names. Click the picture below to download the free printable.
I like graphing because it is a fun and engaging way to learn math concepts because everyone is involved and there is a piece of everyone in the graph. Graphing also involves counting and comparing the results / data.
Prepare colorful squares (it can also be circles, hearts, etc.) cut outs using construction papers. Let children pick up the number of squares they need to write out their name. One letter per square.
Create a graph with the names. From the graph children can find out: Who has the longest / shortest name? How many letters are there in the longest / shortest name? How many people have names with the same number of letters? Who has longer / shorter name than me?, etc.
If your children can count really well, you can get them to count the total number of letters there are if all their names are combined into one super duper long name.
After covering this concept with your class, you can send along a take - home activity that the children can do with their parents. They can create graph using their family member's name (and pets). They can bring back the graph and share them in class. Click the picture below to download the printable.
3. Comparing: Longer or Shorter?
In the book, Victoria made fun of Chrysanthemum that her name is soooo long and that it is spelled with 13 letters. Based on this, you can do an activity to explore the concept of longer or shorter. Write out the name ‘Chrysanthemum’ and paste it on your board.
Now get your children to write their own name too. Whose name is longer / shorter or of the same length as Chrysanthemum?
After this activity, you can reinforce your children understanding of the concept: longer or shorter with the printable that I have created below. They have to find people who has shorter and longer names than theirs. This printable i