Over the last year we have been working on Maths in a variety of ways. Fran quite likes workbooks in moderation so we have used them intermittently. Her favourite has been the Early Bird Singapore set which are a realy nice collection of books. They don’t dwell too long on any subject but they are well thought out and it is easy to boost the topics with other work. She has also used Schofield & Sims books and likes them but she has been a very reluctant writer, so I tend to fill in answers for her to avoid it becoming a chore. it would be fair to say we use them rarely though, there are better ways to spend our days! However recently we have started to use Miquon Maths in a gentle fashion which she really seems to enjoy now.
Most recently a spark has been lit by a game by DK called Puzzle Sums – it is a set of jigsaws made up of an adding or subtracting sum on one side and = whatever on the other – only the right answers fit as a control of error. Fran learnt to use these (properly, not by just fitting the jigsaws) in 30 minutes and is now competently doing addition and subtraction using numbers 0-10. We have used our maths rods and an abacus to work on the counting involved, both of which she really enjoyed.
This was a fantastic moment and it came up out of nowhere. We had some plain and coloured lolly sticks hanging about and out of nowhere a conversation came up about zero. I cut up some bits of paper with 0-20 written on them and asked her to count out the number of sticks for each one – she got it right, as I expected she would, including zero. The I showed her how to use a coloured one to represent 10 as our lolly stick supply was becoming limited. The breakthrough came when we got to 20 and she figured out how to use 2 coloured sticks to represent the two sets of 10 involved.
100 Square and Base 10
The photo at the top of the page shows you our most recent game. I made laminated cards of 0-100 and we have been laying them out with a number square to help, practising the names of the 10’s as well – Fran still tends to say “twenty ten” not “thirty”. Its a good fun game right now. We have a wooden base ten set and have spent some time looking at how units become tens and hundreds – its fun!