Musical Notes Math Learning Activity: Success Means Teaching to Kid's Interests & Likes by Teacher Karen

Musical Notes Math Learning Activity: Success Means Teaching to Kid's Interests & Likes

Do you have a kiddo that gravitates to the arts? Do they march – or maybe dance – to the beat of their own drum? Try this music-based, math-themed activity!

You’ll need:

  • 2 white paper plates (flat ones work best)
  • construction paper in purple, blue, yellow, green, red and black
  • pencil/paper note sheet

Here’s how to do it:

  • Cut out one purple "whole" shape; two blue "half" shapes; four yellow "quarter" shapes; eight green "eighth" shapes; 16 red "sixteenth" shapes; a black “equals’” sign ( = ) and black "addition’" sign ( + ).
  • Draw the musical note on correct shapes.
  • Put purple “whole” circle over one white paper plate.
  • Fill second white paper plate with other the shapes so that no shape overlaps and no white shows.
  • Put "=" sign between the two paper plates.
  • If your kiddo is writing, use pencil and paper to add up the colored shapes on one side of "=" sign and put one on the other side of "=" sign.

Here’s an example:

One white paper plate is filled with: blue, yellow, green, red, red = purple 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/16 = 1 (with 16 as the common denominator: 8/16 + 4/16 + 2/16 + 1/16 + 1/16 = 16/16 = 1). Alternately, SAY: "half + quarter + eighth + sixteenth + sixteenth = one."

Try various combinations of slices to fill the pie! Then read, “This Jazz Man” by Karen Ehrhardt.

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Teacher Karen
Thanks Elisa--both my kiddos were orchestra and band for 10yrs each so I got used to thinking of things in terms of a music theme!
Kristan Wager
This is GREAT! How have the schools lost sight of the fact that kids learn more through play than worksheets? We are going to try this at home.
Teacher Karen
I know! I don't understand how play has taken a back seat...in fact, one of my ECE professor would say, and I agreed 100%, if a preschool kiddo was doing worksheets it was indicative of a lazy teacher! Young children need hands-on, meaningful activities. BTW, I have a video of me doing this activity on my FB page @PlayAndGrowAndLearn Have fun--let me know if you have any questions and/or if you'd like other kinds of activities!
Kristan Wager
Awesome! I will like your page. I am just in mourning for what has happened in education.

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