Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Sum of Two Versus Another

 This was Arden's math lesson, observed throughout by a gallery of "friends." Snake was highly involved in the learning process. Baby Hippo was, perhaps, too young and somewhat left out.

Arden was adding two to a number, using the flashcards from the Saxon 1 textbook. We're intentionally using the workbook less. Fine motor skills don't suit this five year old. Playing with numbers is always fun.

Each pair of cards set up another battle scenario. 5+2 versus 7+2. The casual observer may have thought the opposing forces rather similar, but don't rely on casual observation. It turns out one pack of army men may come in two slightly different shades of green. A five year old boy understands; they are enemies but may reach an uneasy truce and sign a Treaty of Mutual Assistance, when faced with a greater foe.

We worked through the deck of flashcards once, every soldier counted, every battle fought. I fought my own battle with patience. Then we zipped through those cards two more times. Arden knew his facts.

Math is different every day (not for my child plodding through Algebra, but Kindergarten...certainly). Arden usually has his own manipulatives close at hand. Pirates from the pirate ship. Or today, Lord of the Rings Risk pieces playing football. Lord of the Rings/Risk/football became so complicated I could barely keep up (that's how I usually feel at sporting events), but Arden kept on, fearlessly adding one score to another.

Math mastery one plastic soldier or two plastic Orcs at a time.

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