entirelysonja: (Default)
This afternoon Erika and I did lesson 97 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, and lesson 34 in the Mathematics Enhancement Programme.

Earlier in the day, we'd reviewed the exercise at the end of lesson 33 using a new teaching method and some Cuisenaire rods -- the exercise was to color every second ball in a series one color, and every third ball another color. Erika didn't really understand what "every second ball" and "every third ball" meant, so I got out some Cuisenaire rods and showed her how to count 'one-two, one-two, one-two" for every second block, and "one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three" for every third block. Then I laid out a row of white Cuisenaire blocks, and had her put a red one next to every second block, and a green one next to every third block. That seems to have worked for her, so hopefully this idea will be less confusing in the future.

Anyway, our lessons this afternoon were just lovely. The reading lesson was short and easy, and the math lesson was exactly right in terms of challenge. Erika was really receptive to my suggestions on how she might think about the problems, and it was just a totally pleasant experience.

Here's hoping our "official" school days next year go mostly this way!

Snowed in

Dec. 19th, 2009 06:49 pm
entirelysonja: (Default)
We're snowed in, so in addition to baking bread and making mushroom soup, we did some math today, something I've previously avoided doing with any kind of formal curricular approach.

I printed out the first 10 pages from Year 1 of the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching's Mathematics Enhancement Programme, decided to skip the actual lesson plans for the first few pages (since I was pretty sure Erika already got the concepts involved), and worked on the worksheets with Erika.

The only thing she had trouble with was an exercise on permutations at the bottom of page 4 )

She really didn't seem to understand the idea, so a couple of hours later I got out the Cuisenaire rods so we could practice. It made total sense to her with concrete objects )

I'm impressed so far with the Mathematics Enhancement Programme, and am looking forward to trying out some of their lesson plans soon.
entirelysonja: (Default)
I bought some used Cuisenaire Rods to go along with my Miquon math materials. Even though I'm not planning to use the Miquon materials yet, I wanted to get some Cuisenaire Rods so I could do some of the exercises myself and figure out how many of them we needed.

Just from giving the kids the opportunity to play with them once, I can see that I need a lot more!

Picture of kids playing with Cuisenaire Rods )

I also got the "First Grade Diary" yesterday, which gives the experiences of the developers of the Miquon Math program teaching first grade one year. It's very helpful, and makes clear that the kids in the Miquon school had access to LOTS of Cuisenaire rods during their frequent free play sessions.


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