A large collection of paper ice cream cones arrived in the math center this week. During small group time, the children have been finding ways to group them together. We’ve been recording their attribute choices to find out what the children value in their ice cream. The sorting rules they have used so far are:
- Colors (pink, brown, white, yellow, blue, and green)
- Cone Shape (triangle and rectangle)
- # of Scoops (1, 2, 3, and “a lot!”)
- Size (big and small)
This morning, the ice cream cones were requested during choice time. After dumping them out, sorting them all, and mixing them back up, the children decided that we should use these for our dessert shop. We discussed what happens when a customer approaches the window at an ice cream shop and the role of the worker.
Child: Welcome to our shop. What ice cream do you want?
Me: I’d like one scoop of vanilla, please.
Child: (searches through the pile to find the right one)
Child: Here you go.
Me: I need to give you money, right?
Child: Yes. One money.
We decided to use the magnet square blocks as our cash since they were handy and easy to count. At first, all of the ice cream cones were “one money”. When I began ordering cones with eight scoops, the children caught on quickly to the need for higher costs. After negotiation, we finally decided that cones would be $1.00 per scoop. At first, they attempted to charge me $1300 for a cone with one scoop, chocolate dip, and peanuts, but we found out that the pricing on that item was a little too steep. Eventually, the sharp sales-children bargained for one dollar for each add-on plus the original one dollar per scoop.
Later, the counting bears were added to the mix as “Gummi Bears”. They, too, were one dollar per bear. We practiced more one to one correspondence by placing each bear on a “money magnet” to make sure we had the right amount of payment for a handful of bears.
Isn’t it exciting when the children grab an idea and run with it?