Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Estimation Jars and Brain Breaks

We school year-round, although we do fewer days a week in the summer. Miss M started her K4 curriculum in May, and we have added a few new items that have been a huge hit.

The first is an estimation jar. We are doing this daily during our calendar time. I try to fill the jar with objects that vary in size and shape, and when possible relate to our studies (here there are seashells). First Miss M estimates how many objects are inside the jar, and then we count them together and see how close her estimates were.

The second are these brain break sticks which I found the idea for at Keep Calm and Teach On. They are simply painted popsicle sticks with fun, quick activities listed on them. Things like running around the yard three times, having a one-minute tickle fest, and singing the song Tomorrow from Annie (one of Miss M's favorites). We do workboxes, so Miss M draws a stick after every three or four boxes and we do the activity. It's a fantastic way to get the wiggles out and add some fun into our routine.

These are both quick, easy-to-make ideas that have added some new fun into our school days.


  1. Try passing the jar around the circle and having the children estimate how many THEY think first, then count them. You can also start sending the jar home one child at a time and let them fill with something that interests them.


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