Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Math Fun

     Evan had so much fun with our math activity yesterday morning.  I woke early and filled plastic Easter eggs with some Easter Candy corn.  I had Evan choose some eggs (while still leaving some for his brothers) and he picked out 8.  We started by opening them one at a time.  He sorted the colors and told me how many of each color there were.  He then added them all up together to tell me the total number of pieces.  He added yellow plus green, blue plus pink, pink plus yellow, etc. and told me how many of each color and the total amount each time.  He subtracted how many eggs he had left each time he opened one or two.  He made pattern rows out of the colors.  We put a pile of candy corn together and guessed which color we had the most/ least of and then sorted and counted.  We compared which color had more, which color had less, how much more of one color we had versus another color.  He told me he was half way done math when he had opened four eggs and had four left.  It was fun, self- guided math discovery.  He certainly snuck in a candy corn piece or two along the way but that just added to the fun!  I was really amazed when he had no problem answering some of my more difficult questions like "how many more yellow than blue are there?"  He looked, told me there were 5 blue and 7 yellow so yellow had 2 more.  I can remember working with second graders who were trying to get this concept; the wording makes it tricky and if Evan already understands this than I know he has a great math foundation and understanding already! 

counting colors/ sorting

making patterns

comparing colors


       Instead of working on sight words, Evan worked on writing and penmanship. We're still working to finish up his geography board and he was writing labels for the pictures he printed out.  Since he can not spell these words yet I wrote them out for him on his paper and then left room for him to rewrite them underneath so he had something to copy.  I looked back onto last year's board and compared his writing--- wow! What a difference!!  While he still has some difficulty writing on the line and with a few of his letters most of them are written properly and they're written much smaller.  I think I was most impressed with the little differences in his writing because Evan hardly ever writes anything!  All of my boys hate to write and I don't like to force them or do any school work that reduces them to tears.  I try to avoid that when I can and so it's nice to see that even if we don't practice penmanship regularly he's still making progress.

the words on the green were written today and
the words on the orange were from last year;
such improvement with so little practice!


         While Evan was working on his writing the older boys came to sit and work on their math.  I knew that they would want to do math using Easter/candy corn too since Alec was the one who asked me to buy it for us.  I gave them each 9 eggs; had them break them open one at a time, sort colors and write the fractions for each color.  For example; Alec's egg had 10 pieces of candy corn, 3 pieces were blue, 2 were green,3 were yellow and 2 were pink.  He wrote 3/10 under the blue and yellow pieces and 2/10 under the pink and green.  We then added the blue and green pieces together to get 5/10's.  I asked him what that was the same as and he told me a half.  We added all the pieces together and found that 10/10 (or 9/9 16/16, etc.) were the same as 1 whole.  We tried subtracting like fractions too.  I was going to introduce adding fractions when the denominators were not like but decided to save that lesson for another day.  For today we focused on adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators, reducing simple fractions (like 1/2 and whole), and writing fractions.  Both boys practiced the same skills using the numbers they had in each of their eggs (which varied each time).  Other than writing the fractions they worked out loud telling me 4/16 plus 9/16 is 13/16 or 9/16- 4/16 is 5/16.  For now it's enough that they're getting comfortable talking in fraction "speak." And again, what better way to learn math than with a sweet snack on the side?
look at that smile while working on fractions!

Ian's paper

Alec hard at work

     Edible art!  We made candy necklaces and bracelets for our arts and crafts project.  This was rather challenging!  It took me quite a while to find three needles that were large enough to fit our beading elastic through.  I bought elastic that was .5mm and probably should have looked around to see if they had anything thinner.  Once we found three needles we found that jelly beans are thick and hard to break through and candy corn breaks and crumbles breaks.  Ian seemed to really have the touch when it came to this and made an entire strip of just candy corn!  The boys all worked really hard, concentrating and figuring out how to best thread each type of candy onto the string.  We had a few needle pokes and a tiny bit of blood but they all worked really hard to make at least one bracelet or necklace and some even made two. 
Ian making his candy corn bracelet

Evan making a necklace

Evan's completed necklace

our broken candy corn pile

Ian's completed bracelet-- like his pattern?

I thought it was so pretty! 

    We had a quick lunch and then the boys played outside for a while until it was time to head to the library.  It's April vacation for our local schools and our library was having a family movie day.  They were showing Frozen, which only Ian has seen, and so we thought we'd all go and see the movie.  The boys brought water bottles and their candy jewelry to snack on and we enjoyed the show.  It was awesome!  We also picked up materials that had come in for us this week while we were there and spent a little bit of time looking around for books and movies.  It was a perfect day of learning and fun.

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