Using Mats to Teach the Structure of a Box

The Noticing Mat

A mat [4 x 6 feet] can be compared to a page in a book. The children walk to different places on the "page." This mat becomes a place to focus attention during a lesson. Children know that they are to look for details, similarities, differences and problems to solve. It becomes a stage where they can perform.

 

Children see that when the mat is turned, the Top, Bottom, Starting and Stopping positions remain constant.

 

 

Children are encouraged to complete tasks quickly to provide opportunities for many children to be actively involved. Speaking in sentences is a large part of the program. As the children move on the mat, they use language to tell where they are going or standing. They are involved in games and problem solving.

Large letters and numbers are made with wool on the Noticing Mat. The children step from an edge to the beginning point on the number or letter. Labelling the edge, [Starting, Stopping, Top, Bottom] gives a frame of reference when the children start printing their letters and numbers.

Children who have difficulty concentrating like to be involved early in the lessons. Giving them responsibility for holding objects for you also helps them to focus.

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