Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Late Night Penny Math

L could not sleep tonight. Perhaps it was a later-than-usual dinner. She ate a veggie burger, pasta salad ("it's even good cold" ... hmm, that should tell you something about last night's dinner), chips, carrots, and water. Then went swimming. Maybe all that just-before-bed excitement was too much. Whatever the cause, she kept getting up - asking for water, hugs, you name it. Eventually I asked her if she just wanted to hang out. There's nothing work than lying in bed awake.

So we talked and had some nice mommy, daddy, first child time without the whirling dervish (sound asleep after a wild and crazy day). I asked her if she wanted to do some math. We really hadn't done any during the day. We'd worked on a story, picking out words (word find with matching), and other language arts type activities. You would have thought I'd asked her if she wanted ice cream. SO I broke out the pennies.

We've been doing lots of math on paper. Mostly because she enjoys it and ideas aren't hard to come by. It's everything we did in school. Straight up arithmetic, patterns/ sequencing, greater than less than. But I haven't been so good with "manipulatives". I still remember the first time I heard the word "manipulatives". It sounded like such a made-up teacher word. Like, "I need a 5 syllable word for 'things you hold'" ... "ooh! 'MANIPULATIVES'". Anyway. Silly name. Good concept. And yet I never think about manipulatives (except when we're eating and end up doing "pretzel math" or "M&M math"... yum).

Tonight was penny math. We ventured into division (without calling it division), and Lindsay took right to it. It will probably be a long time before we divide on paper, but dividing pennies into equal groups was a fun start to what can be a challenging concept. I even gave her 5 pennies and said, "Divide these into 2 equal groups". She made 2 groups of 2 then quickly rejected the 5th. How nice that she didn't get stressed out by that extra penny. So we called it a "leftover" and said we'd better eat it in a day or two or it would go bad!

Can't wait to see what unfolds tomorrow!

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