I just finished reading the math section in The Three R's
by Ruth Beechick. It contained a very helpful reminder that young children learn with their hands. They need to count the spoons, sort the blocks, etc. Numbers on a page don't mean anything to them yet. This is where real life math comes in.
So I have been making a deliberate effort to use math in every day life. I have done this some in the past, but here are my efforts to step it up.
First stop: the kitchen.
We made cookies. We counted the scoops of flour, practiced reading the recipe, and figured out how many 1/2 cups we needed to get two cups of sugar. Sadie worked on her counting, Isaac and Holly got some practice with addition, and Naomi worked some with fractions. Yes, I still have a head, by the way.
When we set the table, I may say, "I've got 5 plates, how many more do we need?"
"If everyone gets two cookies, how many will we all eat together?"
Next stop: math box.
Just to make sure we use lots of manipulatives, I put together a math box. We use Math-U-See, which I love, but sometimes we need to slow down the pace. So I will now make a point of letting the kids have a couple days to "play" with the manipulatives and the Math-U-See blocks when we learn new concepts. I collected all kinds of interesting things for the kids to count, sort, add, subtract, etc. They have already been anxious to try it out.
This is Isaac using lock washers to figure out simple addition problems.
Have fun with math this week!