Last week I explained how and why I am "homeschooling" my boys this year. As for today's post, math, we have done shapes, mazes, dot to dots but most of this past year has been spent identifying numbers between 1-20 and addition. The boys have had the most trouble differentiating the numbers 12 and 20 and have had difficulty with 13,15 wanting to call them three-teen and five-teen. We don't do flash cards; I just think it's boring. I try to do more hands on learning and for the names of our numbers we used a sticker page as seen below.
Once the boys said the correct name they put a sticker on the number. Here, the numbers 15 and 9 are covered. I think the boys liked this because it was hands on and hey, who doesn't like playing with stickers? We also used this technique to learn our letters.
I did buy a math workbook at Wal-Mart for us to work in. We do a page a day or sometimes take two days to do a page. We've already went through a kindergarten workbook and this is a 1st grade book so we are taking it a bit slow and doing other math activities along with it.
Right now we are working on adding numbers. I'll give the boys a worksheet with addition problems and then let them choose what kind of tools they want to use to solve the problems. They may want to count on their fingers or use Lego's as manipulatives. They also have a number line and this addition chart they can use too.
I don't like the idea of teaching kids there is only one way to solve a math problem. I have discovered through my GED class that every one's brain works differently so that's why I try to give the boys a lot of different tools to work with.
We have also used these bead bags quite a bit the last couple years. I have a separate bag for the numbers 1 to 10.
As you can see I've filled the bag with beads then duct taped it shut. I sure don't want those all over the floor. Then I've written the number 10 at the top. When the boys were learning to count we'd turn the bag over to hide the number, they'd count and then flip it over to check their answer.
Now that we are working on addition we are using them again. I've drawn a line down the middle of the bags and they manipulate the beads to create an addition number sentence. For example, for the bag above they would write 5+5=10. Then they would move the beads to make a new problem. No matter how the beads are moved the answer is always ten. It's been really fun to see the boys number sense grow with these.
Without meaning to, we are also learning multiplication. The boys wanted to play Yahtzee and now they play on their own a lot counting the dots to get their score. It's fun to hear them say "3 5's is 15!!"
These are just a couple of things we've done. We are just beginning subtraction and hopefully will make the bead bags work for this too, along with fingers and number lines of course:)Do you have any good methods you use to teach math? Would you mind sharing? I'm always looking for something more than just worksheets or flashcards. Years ago I substitute taught at an elementary school where the kids used their fingers and knuckles to add and subtract. Is anyone familiar with that? I've forgotten how to do it of course.
The next homeschooling post, reading, will be coming up on Whatever Wednesday. Have a great day!