Stars and Stripes Math –Patriotic Stars
Materials needed: One Patriotic Stars file (print to heavy paper and laminate for durability) OR purchase star tablecloth weights, red/white/blue paper squares or flag toothpicks, and a permanent or dry erase marker.
We found the flag picks at a garage sale last summer and the table weights at our local dollar store. The tablecloth weights have a clip on the end which is great fine motor practice for tiny fingers. If you have a store in your area, there are many activities you can do with them! The tablecloth weights can be used over and over again if you use a dry erase marker instead of a permanent marker. If you are concerned about using toothpicks with tiny fingers, just cut squares of red, white, and blue paper and label for the children to play with.
1). Make a number equation by labeling the stars with a permanent or dry erase marker. Have the children clip the number of flags that correspond to each number used in the equation. To find the sum: Label several different flags with different numbers. Have the children locate and clip the number that completes the equation to the last star in the row. This activity can be used with older children for multiplication and division facts.
(If using stars from the file, label the stars and have the children place paper squares on top of the stars instead of clipping the flags.)
2). Label the flags (or paper squares) with any numbers that have been introduced to the children. Have the children make a number line from the labeled flags (for younger children, draw a number line for the children to have a visual when placing their own flags in order). For a matching activity, make dots on the flags that correspond with the numbered flags. Have the children count the dots and find the matching numbered flag.
3). Label stars with individual numbers. Have the children count out the corresponding number of flags or cut paper squares. Remind the children to count carefully as they lay their squares out on the table/floor.
4). Patriotic Patterning – let the children use the stars to make basic patterns. For very young children, make a pattern with the stars and see if the children can copy the pattern using their own stars. A pattern row can also be started for the children and the children can finish the pattern row with their stars. For older children, set out the stars and let the children play. You will be amazed at the complex patterns some of the children design!
1). Label the stars with any letters the children are working on. Have the children tear or cut pictures from magazines that BEGIN with the letter on the star. The children can clip the pictures to the tablecloth weights or paper clip to the stars printed from the file linked above.
2). Label some of the stars with uppercase letters and some stars with the matching lowercase letters. Have the children work to find the matching uppercase and lowercase stars.
3). Label the stars for different CVC words/word families. Make letters on paper squares or the flag toothpicks for the children to choose from to form a word. The children can then clip the flag or paper square to the stars.
4). Sight Words – label the stars with sight words the children are working on. Place the stars face down on a table or the floor. One at a time, have the children pick up a star. If the child reads the word correctly, he gets to keep the star. If unable to read the word, the star is placed faced down again. The game is over when all the stars are gone. For younger children, play the game with letters (uppercase or lowercase) instead of sight words.
Star of the Day! Let the children wear a star for the day! The tablecloth weights can be safely clipped to the child’s shirt (the laminated stars from the file above can also be used with a safety pin.) Make sure that each child gets a star to wear at the end of the game!