Saturday, March 29, 2014

Taking Off With Math; How My Boys Show Me What They've Learned In Math

My boys are really growing in their skills and today I really noticed all the ways in which they are applying and learning math skills.



The older boys wanted to start with their math minute and Ian was thrilled that he passed his 8 times tables and has only his 9's and 12 times tables left.  That ice cream party is so close he can almost taste it!
   
While they worked on that Evan asked if he could to the dot to dot on the computer but counting by ones instead of by two's.  So I went back to ABCya! and found him the dot to dot page.
   
Alec moved onto to his math workbook and knew what he needed to do for his next page while Ian and I worked a bit with our fraction tiles.  I was showing him (& asking him to show me) equivalent fractions. 

From there we moved onto reducing fractions, which was today's lesson in his workbook. 

He struggled with it a bit mostly because he's afraid to make mistakes.  We talked about that being a part of learning and I think I may have gotten him to loosen up a little...maybe.  I told him his workbook is a WORKbook, it can be messy, it can have eraser marks, lines, scribbles, etc.  It's for working, learning and figuring things out.  He smiled a bit and I noticed he started making notes to help himself next to each equation.  He made a few mistakes but seems to have the general concept.


Alec finished his page and started telling me all the answers to the next page; which was multiplying by 10's.  He stopped more than half way through and said "why am I doing this?  I'm just going to have to do this all over again!"  To which I replied "nope, I was just thinking if you got through this whole page I'd mark it as done and then you don't have to do any math work on Monday."  A moment or two later when he still hadn't made a single mistake I stopped him and marked it as right.  He obviously got the concept! 

Next thing I knew he had completed 5 more pages!

He worked with reading the names of numbers and writing them, place value, ordering numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least, he worked with fractions too.  He was writing fractions and even making equivalent fractions! 

"Now I don't have to do any math work next week!" He declared.  

I expect at least one page a day to be done but they can always do more if they want.  I will never tell them to put down their math books!  Ian then started flipping ahead and found some easier pages and orally completed a multiplication fact page too.  

I guess I found the right motivation for these math workbooks!


He asked if he was done school today and I asked him if he could do one last thing for me-- count to 100.  I had planned on having him do a dot to dot puzzle starting at 100 and counting down to 1 but he had assured me he did NOT know how to count to 100. 

To make it more fun both Evan and I got up off the couch and did jumping jacks and hopping on one foot while he counted to 100.  He lost his place a time or two but if I counted a few numbers before where he trailed off he was able to find his place again and made it all the way to 100 without any mistakes.

 I told him he could go play and that I didn't have anything else planned for him. 

He decided to sit at the table and "play" with the fraction tiles until his brothers were available to play with him.


Once Ian was done with his math book he wanted a snack and I offered to coach him through making Chex Mix.  Typically I'd give him the recipe and have him read and follow the directions but I don't really use the recipe and I modify it as I go along. 

He pulled out all the ingredients and I talked him through the amounts to use.  He knew which measuring tools to use; the 1/4 tsp. measure 3 times for 3/4/ the 1/2 tsp. three times for 1 1/2 tsp., etc.

 Ian was bored later in the afternoon and I offered to help him make some more snacks and treats. 

It seems that everyone in this house has a real sweet tooth lately and our groceries just aren't lasting.  We decided to make some brownies and since there are directions right on the box I left him to do it by himself.  It's great reading, reading comprehension, science, and math practice for him-- not that he knows that.  He just thinks "oooh, yummy brownies!"


The younger boys, who had been playing outside, came back inside once the rain picked up and Evan wanted to make some mousse.

We did a double batch so he had to add 2- 3/4 cups together and came up with 6/4.  I did tell him we could turn that into 1 1/2 but since he's only 6 I had him measure out 6 -1/4 cup measures. 

We then turned on the mixer and I had Alec tell us what time it would be when 5 minutes went by.  I showed Evan the clock on the stove and told him it was 2:18 that the first number before the dots tell us the hour and the numbers after the dots tell us the minutes. 

He then called out the time every minute as the clock changed.  He even told me when we only had one minute left until we had to turn off the mixer. 

He turned it off the second the clock turned to the correct time and we started scooping out the mousse into dessert cups.  The house smelled heavenly between the mocha mousse and the brownies baking in the oven. 


    

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