Candy Cane Lane: Candy Cane Mathematics

For the month of December, we are getting holly jolly with our new preschool theme, Candy Cane Lane!

Lesson: Candy Cane Mathematics: less/more, estimating, counting, and 1:1 correspondence

  1. Read aloud, The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg. Discuss the book and what the candy cane symbolized after. *Note: the book discusses the candy cane as a religious/Christian symbol of Christmas*. Part of the significance of the candy cane explained in the book is that when it is turned upside down, it forms the letter J for Jesus. Well, Mr. Jackson was very impressed that it also made a J for Jackson! I handed him a candy cane to show me how it could be done.
  2. Candy cane math: counting, estimating, 1:1 correspondence, and less or more
    • I had written the letters of his name onto gingerbread men (this is for another activity I had prepped ahead). I set them out, out of order on the table. I also set an entire box’s worth of candy canes onto the table. We used these items as manipulatives to answer the following questions that I asked and prompted him:
      • Are there more gingerbread men or candy canes? (Same with less)
      • Guess how many gingerbread/candy canes I have.
      • Which group has more, gingerbread or candy canes?
      • I have a problem. I want the same amount of gingerbread and candy canes. Will you please help me solve this problem?
        • (This one was hard for me! I had to wait and be patient as he figured it out on his own. It took some time and I helped as little as possible. The less the teacher does, the more the student does. As long as he’s working through the problem and not getting flustered, I keep my mouth SHUT! I think as adults we want to jump in and help but in this case, we’re helping by not helping! Phew! He figured it out after a while; he needed a little help putting the items in a line as opposed to scattered to help organize his thinking and a bit of assistance touching each object as he counted.)
posting his name letters on candy canes

I finished up the lesson with Jack taking the foam gingerbread men stickers and sticking them onto the candy canes. Bonus work because he gets to practice using the small muscles in his fingers to peel off the tape as well as control where the sticker is applied and I have less prep for my name lesson!

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I’m a stay at home mom of two little boys, Jackson and Sawyer. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and a masters degree in the education field as well. I have experience teaching a variety of ages from birth through grade 12! I’m passionate about child development, gentle parenting, and learning through play. I’ve spent the last few months developing a preschool curriculum for my 4 year old son and would love for you to follow along for inspiration in your own home!

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