May. 19th, 2010

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We had another great day today, featuring lesson 98 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (the "oa" in words like "boat" and "float") and various math stuff, including lessons 35 and 36 in MEP.

We did have a bit of a conflict over the use of a balance scale -- I had found some checkers that were part of my old Connect Four set and happened to all weigh exactly the same amount, and had intended to use them to expand on some balancing equations exercises we'd been doing. Unfortunately, she balked at the use of the checkers, wanting to use the metal weights that came with the scale instead. Since there were only two 1-gram weights, we ran into trouble, but she wouldn't consider using the checkers instead. I do think that this evening, when we experimented with many other objects around the house and found that nothing else we found was actually sufficiently uniform, she may have gotten over it. We'll see.

Anyway, other than that, we had a fantastic time. The highlight for me was when I tried a new approach to even and odd numbers. We've only touched on them briefly before, and she clearly didn't get it then. This time, I took out some of Erika's glass "math stones", in groups of 2, 3, 4, and 5. I asked her to divide each group into two equal parts, and then explained that the groups she could divide into two equal parts were even numbers of stones, and the ones she couldn't divide into two equal parts were odd numbers of stones. We then took this further into 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The cool part was when she started saying things like, "I don't really need to divide these into two parts, because I know that 8 is equal to 4 plus 4." and "I don't really need to divide these into two parts, because I know that 9 is equal to 4 plus 5, so it's an odd number."

I was also impressed that she was able, after only one reading, to answer the question, "Mary has one more Red hat than she has Blue hats. How many Red and how many Blue hats can she have if she has not more than three hats of either colour?"

The only problem she didn't quite get today was a pattern that began:

|00|||0000|

She completed it:

|00|||0000||||00000|||||000000

Which isn't quite right -- she correctly identified that the number of lines and the number of 0's increased each time, but she didn't figure out exactly how.

Then this evening before bed, she read a Bob book called "Joe's Toe" quite successfully -- there were only a few words she needed help with, and she figured out some long words she'd never read before, like "doctor," without any help. I was very impressed!

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