March 15, 2011

Preschool Division

I received a lot of e-mails asking for more details on Hunter and his division work.  It's been a little bit of an experiment doing more complex math with a 4 and now 5 year old, but my gut says this is the right path for him.  So today I made a quick little video to answer your questions and show you what materials he uses as well as let him show you how he uses them.  He felt like a little math star!  So cute!

Before you watch the video, how about an explanation of why we're trying this out?  For me, I wanted the areas that the kids are strong in to never be hindered by the areas that they are weaker in.  Hunter, for example, has had little success in the handwriting department but why should his math oriented little brain be denied exposure to math activities only because he cannot write the numbers yet?  My gut said he could to all kinds of things if the need to write were removed from the table.  We still work diligently on handwriting, but the feeling of frustration that accompanies handwriting does not have to accompany any other subjects.

An additional reason for trying this out is that my eldest has an easy time memorizing math facts, which is nice, but doesn't seem to have a foundational understanding of the inner workings of the mechanical processes that she carries out.  We're back tracking a little in her studies to work on that, but  being someone who can already multiply 3 digit numbers by 2 digit numbers, she feels belittled to go back and look at why we regroup our digits since she already knows how.  My hope is that Hunter's playing around with the inner workings of more complex math procedures now will make the why more intuitive for him later down the road.  Not to mention that with speech therapy and difficulty writing, heaven knows he needs an area that he feels like he shines in and math is that area.  When I called him in from the play room to do division today he said, "Yay!  I love division!  I'm so smart like that!"

So that's sort of the why.  The video will show the how.  I you still have question, I'm happy to answer them.  The only thing I may not have mentioned in the video is how important it is to have an ample supply of objects to work with.  My kids have gotten very excited about using these materials in a variety of way and I never want their investigations to be limited by the amount of objects they have to count.  Okay...on with the video!

3 comments:

  1. Ted Taylor15.3.11

    Hey Hunter, that was great! You did an amazing job showing people how to do division. Congratulations! You are really good at that. I hope that video helps other kids want to try and work hard like you do!

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  2. Aww...Ted. That's so sweet! The fact that, "Ted saw me divide!" goes a long way towards his pride over academics! Thanks!

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  3. Great idea! I am definitely going to try this wen Peter is ready for it. He loves Math and it can be hard to find age-appropriate activities. Thank you!

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