Over the weekend I was blessed to attend a workshop with some other local moms to prepare for our children’s participation in Classical Conversations Essentials this fall. It was a video series by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. What does that have to do with math? Not much really. But! Andrew Pudewa mentioned the idea of using a password for teachers. A password to reflect that the student had studied the information assigned in order to maybe gain a hall pass to go to the bathroom or perhaps re-enter the classroom after lunch. I thought, “hey, I could use that at my house!”
I’m not sure how this will work entirely, but my plan is to have the password of the day. For example, tomorrow’s password will be 3×3=9. My children will have to say that to me each time they get a snack, are allowed in the car, or are granted access to a privilege. My hope is that by focusing on one fact a day, by the end of the year they will have a better grasp on their material. Obviously, this tip could be used with any subject that you are working with. At my house, my current main focus is math.
On another fun note, we have a new member of our family! This is Bogey, our three month old Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix).
If you stick around here long enough, you’ll notice that I love hundred’s boards. The various patterns and ways to learn from it are very cool in my opinion.
Here is one I recently bought on eBay. The thing I like so much about this one is it comes with numbered tiles that can be placed in the little squares. I like it to sequence, skip count, demonstrate patterning, adding and subtracting. The kids think it’s cool to play with.
If you are interested in a good interactive 100s board manipulative, you can get one for your house here –
My children are with their grandparents this week so we aren’t actually doing math here. I’m cleaning instead.
However, in the meantime, I came across this tele-seminar about math facts. It helped me to solidify why I’m spending so much time on these basic math facts before I allow the children to move on. Maybe you’ll find it to be valuable too.
I’m happy to report that Math Monday was a success at my house last week. We had a couple light bulb moments. First, we sat down to the multiplication chart. The initial response was the familiar panic that I typically see when this child is presented with a math worksheet. I said, “this is not a math assignment. I just want to show you how much you already know!” We proceeded to skip count across the board, filling in the numbers we already know.
When we came to the end of the immediately available knowledge in the child’s head, we stopped and looked over our work. I pointed out that about 3/4 of the board was filled out without any real effort. I saw a light bulb go off as the child realized that we’re over half way there! I said, “aren’t you proud of yourself?” The response – the best moment of my week, “Yes, yes I am.”
I took the blank addition charts and gave them to the other two children. It was filled in with relative ease and then we discussed the patterns that appeared on the board. Another light bulb moment!
My result – we will revisit this activity often.
This week I want to share with you one of the assignments my children find in their workboxes often. In Classical Conversations, each week we do some skip counting for the first 11 weeks. This is a dry erase method that lets my children find the patterns and figure out the next number in the skip counting assignment.
For this one, I will write the number I want them to skip count by in the bottom blank. They skip count around the board with a dry erase marker circling the numbers. It’s a quick activity that helps them practice the skip counting facts for that week.
Another version of the same idea is the blank 100’s board. For this one, they write in the number that they are skip counting by in the box where it would belong on a blank hundreds board. On my daughter’s you can see that there are 12 blank lines down the side for her to write in the numbers she is skip counting. For the boys, you can see the front of one son’s while you see the back of the other son’s board. It’s the same as what you see on one side of my daughter’s board. I just made the boards differently for the boys. Truthfully, it was so those big stickers could fit on the board. It’s just more fun when you have stickers involved.
I find these to be a pretty painless way to practice the skip counting and see what they know. I hope they are helpful to you!
I have a child who is math phobic. A child who knows a lot of stuff but freezes when it’s written in a worksheet form. Last year, I created a Math Center. Just a table where I keep our math manipulatives at the ready for an impromptu math session. The goal was to change what was on the table every week so the children were exposed to lots of math concepts in a friendly fun way. I was not as successful as I’d like to have been. It was a success, but I wasn’t faithful enough about changing it around.
I’m currently in collection mode for any math related anything for my math center. I’ve built up quite a lovely collection after the last two used curriculum sales I recently attended, a virtual tour of ebay and my state HEAV convention! Once I have it all organized, I’ll show you some new pictures.
My current hope is to share our math ideas here each week. Who knows where math inspiration will strike – but when it does, I’ll share it with you!
This week, I’m reading The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson. In the book, she shares an idea from one reader about blank times tables. This reader suggests hanging blank charts on the fridge and letting the children fill them in as they feel moved to do so. The reader said she did it over and over for much of one school year and her children seemed to enjoy the game. I think it might work for my kids too. Instead of the fridge, I plan to put it out on my math center table and let them fill it in there as they feel led. I bet they don’t realize how much of it they already know. I think the no pressure aspect of this activity will help my cause.