This activity was about more than just making a pretty tree. It was all about ordering.
We had been discussing sizes and the terms that describe sizes: big, little,medium, larger, smaller, big, bigger, biggest, etc) . We talked about Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One bowl was big, one was medium sized, and one was tiny. We even acted it out!
Then I gave each student a sheet of blue construction paper with a star near the top. They were to place the 6 green strips under the star, starting with the smallest one, then continuing down. When they were finished, I asked them to check their work, and I asked each child if the smallest one was at the top (under the star) and the biggest one was at the bottom. If they said yes, then I handed them the glue bottle. When they were finished gluing, I gave them squares to be the tree trunk -- and then we emptied the hole punch and glued on some little circles to make the snow (we made dots of glue using a toothpick). This activity showed me who needs a little more help with ordering -- while we all had fun! My favourite part about this math activity was that even if the ordering was a bit off, the trees still looked great, and it gave the kids the confidence they need to just "have a go".
A big part of kindergarten is about taking risks and making mistakes, and knowing that it's okay to make mistakes. Doing it yourself is way more important than having it done "perfectly". "Perfect" in kindergarten looks far different than "perfect" in grade 2! That's why many students go home with shirts on inside out and backwards on pool day! (I don't think that I ever use the word perfect in class -- I say "doing your best")