Monthly Archives: June 2012

Go Forth and Multiply

Eilidh has begun basic addition over the last wee while. A friend of hers has been doing simple addition problems with Kumon Math, which gave me the idea to make Eilidh some math sheets to reinforce basic sums. I found some very Kumon-esque ones at Its all very mundane stuff (a bunch of adding 1 repeatitively, adding 2 etc) and as dulling to her day as it might be, she can offer correct answers to my daily barrage of addition questions without much hesitation.

So we moved on to adding with 10’s, again I found a few cool sites and that offer simple testing online. As we go over the questions, I use coins and drawings to help illustrate the problem and provide several different approaches so it can begin to make sense.

What I’ve found over the last week is, since beginning grouping 10’s together as part of the addition, we have accidentally fallen into multiplication. (so now we have 3 groups of 10 how many is that?) As I’ve been looking into different methods of mathematics for children, I’ve noticed we try to separate addition and subtraction from multiplication and division, where in actual fact they are so closely linked there seems to be no good reason not to introduce them at the same time. Keeping it gentle, but matter of factly, grouping numbers then adding them together is multiplication and addition in one. It’s like Zen maths.

Also we have been using the Princess PhD app on the iPad, where you can earn coins on your mathematical journey to then spend on making your princess look sparkly and beautiful. There’s also a Pirate PhD for those who may not be so motivated by tiara’s and dresses.

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The 100s Chart

How can we make numbers more familiar?

I thought that having Eilidh write a hundreds chart would help her practice writing her numbers, review counting to one hundred and hopefully visualize patterns and relationships in the numbers. We used the numbers cards to play a sort of bingo game where all she had to do was point at the number on the chart.  from the number made with the cards.

The best thing is she did it herself, hopefully the task alone will have familiarized her with some numbers at least.

Here we used Snapguide to show the process.

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Eric Carle Inspired MadLips

Eilidh finished her Zoo School with a performance of Eric Carle’s “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?”. Meanwhile back in the lab, we were trying out a new app called MadLips and came up with our own spontaneous version of the same book.

Eilidh came up with different verbs for each animal’s answer and I cleverly came up with the ending. It took one or two takes per animal, mainly trying to keep the camera in the right place. I imagine we’ll add our own photos to this and get a bit more creative with some storytelling or conversation.

Free app. Our first attempt.

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