Have you ever wondered how stream of consciousness works for a teacher?
While I was browsing in the Target Dollar Spot for nothing, in particular, I spotted bags of rainbow candy cane mini erasers, 60 for one dollar. Wow, what a bargain! I can use those as counters for math. They would be perfect to use with counting grids. I wonder if I can find candy cane clip art in those same colors. Just think, they would be ideal for creating and extending patterns. Wait a minute, why not use actual candy canes to show patterns. Maybe I can find mini ones in the same colors. Oh and don’t forget, mini candy canes for counting cups. Hmmm… why not use them to show teen numbers as ten plus a number.
Photo by Yuliia Mazurkevych
From a bag of mini candy cane erasers to three math freebies for you!
Candy Cane Counting Grids
Counting grids are a great opportunity for preschoolers and kindergarteners to develop and practice subitizing and number recognition skills, along with one-to-one correspondence for counting objects. This easy to prepare partner activity uses dice (1-6) or spinners (1-3) for counting to 20 or 30. The focus can be counting to 3, counting to 6, counting to 20, or counting to 30. Use a die with pips or the spinner with candy canes for subitizing. Try a die or the spinner with numbers for number recognition.
You will need:
- two copies of a counting grid (color or black/ gray/ white, 20 or 30 spaces) for each pair of students (Use cardstock and laminate for durability.)
- one die (pips or numbers) or one spinner (candy canes or numbers) for each pair of students (Print spinners on cardstock, laminate, and cut. Use purchased spinner hands, a pencil and paperclip, or a brad and paperclip to spin.)
- 40 or 60 counters for each pair of students (Use any counter that fits in the space. Try mini-erasers, buttons, pompoms, or gems.)
- Spin the spinner or roll the die.
- Count and collect the corresponding number of counters.
- Place the counters on your grid starting with the first space.
- Take turns with your partner.
- After every turn or two, ask “How many do you have?” and “Who has the most/ fewest?” Simply omit this step with children who are not ready.
- The activity is over when one student has filled the grid.
Candy Cane Number Cards
Use this set of color only round number cards, 1-20, to create counting activities. Simply print, laminate, and cut. Glue dots are perfect to affix the number cards to red or festive treat cups, drinking cups, and plastic or paper plates. Provide a supply of appealing counters such as mini erasers, mini candy canes, round peppermint candies, pompoms, buttons, or candy cane ornaments made with pipe cleaners and pony beads. It’s as easy as that!
And yes, I would teach this as 10 and 5 more, not 5 and 10 more as pictured!
These free number cards are included in this Candy Cane Counting freebie.
Candy Cane Patterns
Who could possibly resist a lesson using colorful, fruity candy canes to teach or review patterns?
These candy cane pattern strips provide an engaging way for your kindergarten, first, or second-grade students to practice or review identifying and extending repeating color patterns. There are pattern strips for AB, AAB, ABB, ABC, AABC, ABBC, and ABCC repeating patterns. There are also strips for AB and ABC growing patterns. All given patterns include the core and then repeat or grow one time. The patterns can be recorded with crayons.
You will need:
- pattern strips (Use cardstock and laminate for durability. Cut into strips.)
- extension strips, tape (Directions are included in the download.)
- purchased mini erasers, buttons, or pompoms in matching colors or
- candy cane pattern cards (Print on cardstock, laminate, and cut.)
- adhesive Velcro squares or circles, optional for using the pattern cards
- recording sheets and crayons, optional
You choose the pattern strips that are most appropriate for your students. You may want multiple copies of the pattern strips and pattern cards, depending on the number of students using them at the same time.
More Ideas for Candy Cane Learning and Fun
- 12 Days of Giving, an assortment of freebies with a candy cane theme from the Teacher bag
- Candy Cane Hide & Seek Game from the Resourceful Mama
- Candy Cane Slime from Pre-K Pages
- Dissolving Candy Canes from Lemon Lime Adventures
- Candy Cane Sight Words from Crayons & Cuties in Kindergarten
- Candy Cane Symmetry from Fantastic Fun and Learning
- Candy Cane Fruit from the Diva Dish