Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Math Fun

Last year we had some fun using Elizabeth Foss's Gnomes and Gnumbers for the Little Princess's math program. I'm not sure what grade-level Elizabeth would place it as, but LP needed a lot of work with the concepts of numbers and adding which the gnomes addressed. So, we dropped her curriculum and started using the Gnomes instead.

It was so much fun that TMax and Pipster took breaks from their schoolwork to join us.

Even though we've gone back to Singapore full time, this little rainbow tray and the gemstones still come in handy for cementing concepts. Right now we're struggling a little with subtraction and borrowing, so we got out the gems to help us.

We use the rainbow tray for teaching place value and it's pretty easy to make. The tray can be purchased at Michael's along with the different colored felt squares. These have adhesive backs to make it really easy. Just cut the strips and stick them down!

Today she enjoyed making patterns with the gems as well as using them to help her with her borrowing. By the end of the lesson she didn't need the gemstones anymore!

Last year, after we finished the Gnomes' story, we picked up where we left off in Singapore. LP worked through her book very quickly at that point. I've learned over the years that there is nothing wrong with taking breaks from traditional math, especially in the earlier years. I've found it to be much more beneficial to a child who is struggling than forcing them to continue working through their texts doggedly. It saves us all heartache to take the time to play math games while they go through what basically amounts to an intellectual growth spurt!

Nowadays I keep the tray and gems handy for LP's little struggles. We'll probably be using them daily for a while until this borrowing and carrying is well established in her brain. It may mean we get a lot less done every day, but it's much better in the long run!


  1. what a great idea! I'm sticking it in my brain file for later.

    one of the things about autism is that they don't handle abstracts well at making math tangible is very important....your colored strips show so well how to borrow and carry!!

  2. off topic:

    please come and play Thesaurus Thursday today!


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