If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I like to find seasonal variations of activities to put out throughout the year. When browsing the Making Learning Fun website, I found this apple math activity that I adapted for our classroom.
To prepare this activity I printed the apple cards on cardstock and laminated them and made several copies of the apple tree page. I set it up on a thrifted red gingham tray as shown below. I like to include all the needed materials for an activity right on the tray if possible.
Here is what this looks like set up on a table. The larger clear box holds a pencil and red marker and the smaller box holds the apple counting cards. The child uses the pencil to write their name on their paper.
Then they choose an apple card from the box. For demonstration purposes I chose the "3" card.
Then they color the corresponding number of apples on their tree with the red marker as shown here.
The child continues choosing cards and coloring that many apples until their apple tree is full. I only copied one set of number cards so my students have been replacing and reusing the number cards once they have done them all. This work was out on the shelf for the first time today. Several children were interested in it and were able to stick with it until completion. They enjoyed a sense of accomplishment, realizing they had colored 100 apples. I like this activity because it helps children work on several different skills. In addition to reinforcing number recognition, one-to-one correspondence and basic number concepts (there is even a "zero" apples card), this work helps children refine their fine motor skills and increases their concentration. Even some of my students who typically avoid fine motor activities that require them to use a writing utensil have found success with this work.
Tonight my two boys and I zipped up to my classroom to pick up something I had forgotten and to take the photos for this post. I was planning to be in the classroom for no more than 10 minutes. However, my boys immediately found work on the shelves that they wanted to do and we were there for nearly an hour. My youngest son (who is in my class) wanted to finish my 100 apples paper. I snapped a photo of him working on it which is shown below. I was pleased that he stuck with it until all the apples had been filled in.