In my classroom, everywhere I have taught, we always have a time where we are waiting. Waiting to use the sink to wash hands, waiting for everyone to line up to go here or there, waiting to be called to an activity, waiting, waiting, and more waiting. It is all part of group learning, it is part of life. I decided I wanted to make waiting a little more fun so I started excusing children from one activity to the next by telling a math story with a math computation in it.
I was working with 4 and 5 year olds at the time that I created my math stories so I always used numbers under 5 and usually the numbers 1, 2 and 3. By the age of 4 most humans can count up to 5 so this is a good way to build confidence. I would pick the child in the front of the line and make an addition story. For example:
“Once upon a time Sally wanted to go and drive a fast racecar, so she invited Michael and Samantha to be fast racecar drivers with her. How many children were racing their cars?”
I would also use my fingers or have the children named stand to the side, and give time for the children to call out the answers. They usually called out very fast. Children love to have stories with themselves as the main characters so I would have their attention, their excitement, and because I used stories that they were interested in, It was a lot of fun.
I highly suggest using Math Stories once in a while or all the time. It’s on the spot learning and the children really love it. They learn so much.