Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Week 7

There's only a few days left until we've finished 60 days of pretty intense nearly daily "homework" sessions with K.  We'll see if she lets me "quit" after these 60 days, she *loves* her one on one homework time.

We've made a LOT of math progress this week, so I really want to focus on how we've revamped our math.

As I've mentioned, we use a math kit, "Numicon" which we had ordered online.  It's a math curriculum designed for children who need a more visual way of learning math, and has been proven an effective way to teach kids with special needs.

 This gives you a good idea of what it looks like.  Each shape represents a number, and kids learn to associate an image with each number.  So if you imagine a muffin tin with six muffin spots, that is the shape that is represented by six (two rows of three each, same as on a dice)  In this picture you can see the number 3 (which is yellow) 4 (green) 5 (which is red) and 6 (is blue)

We spent a lot of time just getting used to the set, we place the pegs on the shape pieces, and play games where she just identifies which shape is which number.

I found some heart shape thingys (yes that IS a word) on sale on Target so I thought that would be a fun new manipulative for K.  We use a small muffin tin, because the 18 muffin tray was just too hard for her at this point.  At first, we just were counting.  The next day, I started working on addition and subtraction, making sure to create the same patterns as her numicon shapes.  As an example, if I were to take 2+1, I would make sure that I created the same three-piece shape as the numicon kit uses, which you can see in the first picture, bottom row has two and the top row has one peg.  She picked up on this SO easily!! I was so encouraged because math is usually so frustrating for both of us.

If you have questions about the Numicon kit or are thinking about using it, shoot me an email, I'd be happy to talk more about it.

The other really interesting thing we did this week was a community education event, Art and Music.  The Lakes Area Orchestra played four pieces, and had art stations set up for each of the kids.  As they listened to each piece, they would brainstorm things that the music made them think of.  Then they'd identify colors that could represent the music, and then as the full piece was played again, they painted what they felt the music represented. It was SO cool!  I don't totally get the math-music connection, but there is plenty of research that shows it's legit!

 This first picture she was painting was a pretty dark piece.  And interestingly, it was a symphony piece inspired by a painting of Oxen trodding down a hill in old Russia, and was very heavy sounding.

We also worked on counting by tens.  Each row on this has ten, so it was a good way to visualize what counting by tens actually meant.

Playdoh and music are ways that really appeal to K to learn math as well. This was just a little game that I made up.  She practiced reading the rhyme, and math skills.  And please excuse my horrible play doh skills.  Those are supposed to be  monkeys in the tree.  "Five little monkeys sitting in the tree, teasing Mr Alligator, can't catch me, then along came Mr Alligator quiet as can be, and he snapped that monkey right out of that tree" and so on down to one!

We also did some good reading activities this week: Dr Jean Color Farm activities (check out Dr Jean if you don't know who she is, she is awesome!)  We practiced Edmark reading lessons, and also did "See, Spell, Write" spelling words .

Despite how many math activities that I've tried and failed with K, it was just SO encouraging to make positive progress on math this last week.

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