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 www.math-drills.com. 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 http://www.ixl.com/math/kindergarten and http://www.adaptedmind.com 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.