The objective of this lesson is for children to start counting using number names and begin to sequence numbers or events
- Talk to the children about birthday celebrations. Explain that birthdays can be celebrated many ways.
- Ask the children to describe how they have celebrated their own or someone else’s birthday.
- Consider showing a picture of a birthday party, and ask the children to describe what they see.
- Tell the children that they are going to help build a birthday cake.
- Ask them to sit in a circle. Show the inspiration photo of the birthday cake.
- Have the children count how many bricks are needed to make one piece of the birthday cake.
- Ask them to help you find the correct bricks. Model how to build a piece of cake.
- Place the inspiration photo in the middle of the circle and have the children work individually to find the necessary bricks and build one piece of cake.
- Facilitate a discussion about the birthday cake.
- Consider asking questions like:
How many pieces do we need to make a whole cake?
How many pieces do we need to make half a cake?
How many people does this cake feed? Remember that we want everyone to have a piece!
- Talk to the children about parts of a whole. Explain that each of them made part of the cake and put them together to make a whole cake consisting of four pieces.
The printable invitations (You can find it under Additional Resources in the blue box on the right) show the different fractions of the cake.
- Tell the children that birthdays can be a lot of fun but that parties take a bit of planning.
- Tell them that you are going to have a 'make believe' birthday party for a friend (or your class pet, if you have one).
- Ask the children to consider what they need to do to prepare for a party and in what order they should do everything (i.e., first they need to send invitations, then make or buy party supplies, decorate, etc.).
- Hand out the printable invitations and flags and ask the children to cut out and decorate four of each; they can use the glue and string to finish the flags. Consider using paper plates, napkins, etc. to complete the party setup.
- Once the children are ready for the party, encourage them to role-play. Place the candles on the cake and ask the “birthday person” to blow them out! Ask the children to pass out one piece of cake to each guest.
Did You Notice?
Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies in math.
- Counting using number names, and beginning to recognize the number of objects in a set
- Sequencing numbers or events
- Explore the concept of parts of whole
- Count and practice one-to-one correspondence
For up to 4 children
Café+ set 45004
Glue (for printable flags)
String (for printable flags)
The Mathematics guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and HeadStart have been used to develop the Café+ lessons.
Please refer to the for an overview of the learning values referenced throughout this Teacher Guide.
The learning goals listed at the end of each lesson can be used to determine whether or not each child is developing the relevant early math skills.
These bullet points target specific skills or pieces of information that are practiced or presented during each lesson.
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