Age: 7 & 10
Once Astroboy has mostly mastered his multiplication through various work such as Reflex Math and Speed: Multiplcation, I whipped out the 24 game that I bought from Amazon months ago.
We’ve been playing it in the car for a few months, of and on. It’s a great road trip game if your kid likes games. Thumper, not so much. So she only joins when she has no better things to do in the car.
What is 24
I first learned about 24 from my public school teacher classmates in Montessori training. It’s a way for kids to practice mental math and get their basic math operations down.
Each card in the 24 deck has 4 numbers. You’re supposed to figure how how to use +,-,×,÷ to get these 4 numbers to 24.
For example, if you see 1,2,3,4, you can get to 24 by
- 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 = 24
- (1+2+3) x 4 = 24
- (3 x 4) x 2 x 1 = 24
- (3+1) x (4+2) = 24
Yes, the 3rd and 1st one are the same but to the kid who hasn’t learned commutative property, they think it’s different.
The cards have 1-3 dots to denote difficulty level. (more…)
According to Montessori curriculum, kids start in earnest with fractions in first grade. Last semester, I tried to get Thumper to learn her fractions. While it was obvious whenever we did it that she understands quickly and can advance to the next stage, she did not want to do it AT ALL. Case in point, after introduction to fractions, we did nomenclature matching (Chinese to English to pictures to numbers), I had to kind of make her do it. By that I mean putting it on her work plan and she dragged and dragged her feet till I pointed out to her it’s on her work plan. Then it was fraction equivalence, I don’t even know when we started that work. November? October? She just finished that this week, mid January. So that took 2+ months.
One thing I got out of homeschooling last semester is that maybe I need to really just accept the way my child learns and think of ways to appeal to her. I know I know, such a Montessori concept. But this means that I cannot just use the Montessori materials and presentations as I was taught. Thumper is a creative one. Show her how to do something, and more often than not she wants to play with it, see it used a different way.
This week, I remembered that I saw a fractions game at a Montessori school I observed. After asking around and looking at albums, I learned that it’s not in the albums. It’s just an extension the teacher made up. We played this game this week. Thumper had much fun. In fact, I had much fun. This week, school in general felt great because most of our time spent together was happy times.
The game is simple. Fractions cards from 1, 1/2, 2/2, 1/3, 2/3,….10/10 are shuffled. Each player takes one card, takes the fraction circles to make up that number, and compare the fractions. The person with the bigger fraction takes all the cards and the person with the most number of cards by the end wins. The direct aim of the game is to see visually how a fraction is represented and become familiar with it.
Extensions: Take out the large fractions if you really want to illustrate the fraction equivalent concepts in a concrete way. Ask children to name fractions in English. (more…)