Saturday, May 14, 2016

Addition Strip Board and Finger Chart

Finally some new math materials for Bubs!!
Bubs was very excited to have new math materials.  He had been working with the snake game for awhile and stopped pulling out the ten/teen boards awhile ago.  He goes through phases of working with the paper decanomial and the bank game.
 We started with the addition strip board.   This board has a row of numbers 1 through 18 across the top.  The numbers 1-10 are red and the numbers 11-18 are blue.  There are also 9 red bars and 9 blue bars.  The smallest rod is labeled with a 1 and the longest is labeled with a 9 with the remaining numbers in between.

I have a few containers with simple equations.  For example, in the picture above, he has the equation 9 + 4.  He takes the 9 red bar and the 4 blue bar.  They are placed side by side horizontally.  Then he looks at the numbers at the top to see what number he has formed.  Both bars together end at 13.  He then knows the answer is 13. 

Here is a closer look.  He did this work until he finished the container and moved on to the next one. He thought it was pretty easy which was what I was afraid of.  He has passed this material, but it is a good stepping stone for his addition work.   

I quickly started him on the first finger chart.  He was pretty excited to have his own clipboard, special paper, and a pencil for this work.  This chart is officially called the Table of Arithmetic, but we definitely wouldn't want to tell Bubs that!  It might overwhelm him. 

The setup of the board is red numbers from 1 to 9 vertically down the side with blue numbers 0-9 horizontally across the top. All of the other squares are the sum of one red number and one blue number.  The child uses his fingers to find the answer.  For example, the equation above is 3+5.  Bubs puts his left finger on the red 3 and his right finger on the blue 5.  Then he slides his left finger across and his right finger down until they meet in the middle at 8, which is his answer.  Before he finds his answer, he writes his equation on his paper.  Then he fills in the answer once he finds it.  (The paper is just a simple graph paper with large squares. You can download it for free here.)

I did discover that this work is not necessarily full proof.  I noticed that on one equation, he slid one finger down to the other row as he was sliding, which then made his answer incorrect.  I just used that as a point of interest for the next equation.  He will continue to work through all of the equations before we move on to the next finger chart for addition.  Right now, I have every equation from 1+1 through 9+9.  He was very excited when he got 9+9 because he was able to use the highest number on the board.  If you click on the pic, you can see his equations written on his paper.  Sorry I didn't take a better pic of that. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Language Games

Ok, so this is not a traditional Montessori material for language, but someone from our parish gave me some homeschooling materials she used when her kids were young.  I decided to put them to use and see how it goes!  Well...the kids had a blast with them.  I started Kui out with this game below called the Prefix Mix.  She is, or should be, done with prefixes, suffixes, etc., but this game was a good refresher for her and something fun to do.  We are reaching the end of the year so it is always nice to have new materials to spice things up a bit.
This game can have up to six people or maybe each person could have more than one card to make it more interesting.
Each person gets a card with four prefixes on it.  Then you draw a card from the bag and read the word.  If you can make a word with one of your prefixes then you place it on your board and it is the next person's turn.  If not, you put the card back in the bag.  For example, Kui drew "belief".  She put it with "dis" to make the word "disbelief".  When you have all four spots filled up, you win!

Kui really enjoyed this.  The game goes pretty fast so we played a few times.  It is actually kind of challenging to make the words.  I made up my own word and ended up losing in the end because my word wasn't on the answer key!!  (I do the same thing in Scrabble as well!)

We also played a bingo game called "Diphthong Bingo".  We included Bubs in this game since he is learning how to read and it would be good practice for his sounds.  For those of you who have forgotten elementary English class, a diphthong is two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound.  That clears it up right?!  For example, "ou" in the word "sound".  Don't worry, I had no idea there was an actual name for it! Haha  If you enlarge the picture above, you should be able to see that the diphthong is highlighted a different color.  This helps the child distinguish the sound.
The kids had markers and I called out the words and then you play just like regular bingo. 

There is even a card for the caller to check the words at the end of the game.  The kids loved this one so much that they asked if they could play it in the afternoon!!  I secretly wanted to play with them, but was cooking dinner :( 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Adding Fractions - Different Denominators

Good ole fractions!  We finally dusted these bad boys off again.  Kui is pretty behind on fractions so I am making quite the effort to get her back into the swing of things.  I think I was initially scared off from these when I was looking in the album.  Not quite sure why.  Maybe it is the endless amount of charts that need to be made for the fraction work.  Who knows!  Regardless, I am back at it making more and more charts to be used for this work.  Kui was pretty excited to get a presentation today and worked very well.  We have been working upstairs this week because Bubs has been sick and quarantined upstairs.  I needed to stay close to hear him.  It worked out though.  We had plenty of space for all of the fraction pieces. 
Kui finished up the presentations for adding fractions with the same denominators awhile ago so we just took a minute to refresh the concept.  She picked up on the new concept pretty quick, however, we do need to dive back into the Least Common Multiple work so that she can be a little quicker in finding the common denominator.  We will do that tomorrow.
Here Kui is working with the first problem in the album.  I believe it was something simple like     1/2 + 1/4 =.  She needed to get the denominator in the same "family" like all halves or all fourths.  She looked at the fraction pieces and said, "How many fourths will fit in a half."  This should come very easy to the child at this point and she quickly found out that 2 fourths fits into a half.  So her equation changed to 2/4 + 1/4 = 3/4.  She could easily push all of the fourths together now since they were from the same family.  She worked on many simple examples like this today.
She also has this box of extra fraction pieces if she needs them.  Sometimes the fraction insets are not enough.  You can buy these plastic pieces here.  I believe I got mine from Montessori Outlet, but for some reason that link was not working.  They are a little pricey, but well worth it.  I never did end up finishing mine that I started cutting 3 years ago.  I just broke down and bought a set.  They are going to be more precise than my cutting skills anyway!

Once we went through a few examples and she got the hang of it, I introduced one of the charts to her.  This is a great visual to show how the fractions are changed to match the same family.  1/4 gets changed into 2/8.  It is very clear by the color coding on the chart.  Then you can add eighths with eighths.

She was very inspired by my beautiful drawing and coloring skills (NOT!!) and wanted to make her own chart.  Here it is below. 

It is actually a good review and practice for the child to do this.  It allows them to color which is Kui's all time favorite thing to do.

Here is another chart showing 3 addends and how we exchange along the way to see them all in the same family by the last row.  (Please remember that you can click on the picture to enlarge it.)  I realized half way through that all of my fraction pieces would not fit and I had to tape on a bottom piece.  Doesn't look the greatest, but gets the concept across.  I love this one because it also shows how the fraction can end up as 9/9 or 1.  This reminds the child to simplify the fraction when they are done. 

Here is Kui's attempt.  Can you tell her interest waned by the end?  It was approaching recess and her brothers were already heading out.  It is also a good reminder as to why making the charts is really the job of the teacher and not the child.  It is too labor intensive for the elementary child.  They have moved past this developmentally.  However, I did let her do it since I was trying to follow the child.
I also started making her some equations that she can do on her own for extra practice for each operation.  I still need to cut them out, but here is a picture for your reference.  Tomorrow we will probably touch on a refresher for Least Common Multiple before we move on to subtracting different denominators.  Plus, this teacher needs to get busy making the rest of the charts for this group!  It was a good reminder to check the state of the colored pencils every so often as well.  This child clearly needs a new set!  I was using a red pencil today that was the size of my pinkie.  Makes coloring nicely quite the challenge!