Summer 2015 – Pit Stop #2

Throughout Summer, I review with my daughter Rosie the math concepts she learned in Kindergarten. Every Sunday, I post the activities we explored during the week. A weekly Pit Stop, listed on the right, under “Summer Camp 2015 – Review K Standards with us!”, to help you follow our journey. And join us. 

Welcome to Pit Stop #2 . What have we been doing this week  ?

Our math time has become a special moment both Rosie and I look forward. For 10-15 min, we sit together to explore, review, together, a concept Rosie has learned at School. At this point, the tasks are still relatively simple, as we build up Rosie’s confidence, and interest, in math. Tiny step by tiny step, we, hopefully, carefully, set up a long term investment.

Exploring the decimal system – This week, we have kept playing around pairs that make 10, using cards, buttons, and passwords. Please, go back to our Pit Stop #1 (here)  if you need more details.

Word problems –  Exploring word problems was our main task this week. We started with a very simple problem, to review helpful steps to solve a word problem (see the post I wrote on Wednesday here). Throughout her Kindergarten year, Rosie brought back many worksheets with word problems, with an equation, often, included. The goal this week was to check that Rosie connected well visual representations, numbers and equations. So we did 2 additional tasks, that I am sharing as examples. Change socks into cars, seahorses into dolphins, whatever would be appealing to your child. Just keep in mind that this week, we stayed focused on representing the problem. In the coming weeks, I will post a variety of word problems to strengthen Rosie’s understanding of addition or subtraction.

In the first task, I read a quick story to Rosie, and asked her to represent the situation. There was no question, at first, i.e. no answer to be found.

Rosie is cleaning up her room. Under her bed, she finds some socks: 2 pink socks, 3 purple socks, and 4 polked-dot socks.

Once she was done with her representation, I asked her how many socks was under the bed. She counted the socks, added numbers, and wrote an equation. And answered the question.

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The second problem was similar (Rosie’s beloved seahorses, here we come).

Rosie is at the beach. She sees 3 baby seahorses, 2 mommy seahorses, and 1 daddy seahorses. How many seahorses does Rosie see ?

I truly enjoyed following Rosie’s reasoning throughout the task. At one point, she wrote 1 + 2 = 3 (see the equation under the red seahorse). I was not sure where she was going so I asked her what the 3 represented.  She said: “The baby seahorses? No, wait ! The moms and dad !”. With the code of color, she quickly saw that the 3 could not represent the 3 baby seahorses, but rather the 2 mommy seahorses and 1 daddy seahorse. I can see that she starts connecting all parts of the problem. We also explored the problem with buttons.

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Try with your child, see where it goes. Draw, add numbers, write an equation if he/she is ready to. Use manipulatives. And see if your child connects all parts well.

Measuring – Same as last week, we just talked about measuring when an opportunity showed up.

Classifying / representing data – One of the K Standards Rosie worked on was “Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count”. A pre-step this week was to sort buttons. I love buttons. And so does Rosie.  So naturally, she was quite enthusiastic to sort a handful of buttons, any way she wanted: by colors, of course (and even by color, it can be tricky with the different shades), but also by material, number of holes, shapes, the shiny/not shiny, etc. The list is endless with Rosie. I bought a few pounds of buttons a long time ago on eBay, there are all different, pushing Rosie’s reasoning into where to put what. But you can pick something different to sort. Hardwares, for instance. Whatever stimulates your child’s interest.

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Geometry – We just started talking about shapes we may see around us. More to come on Pit #3.

That’s the end of Pit #2. Hope it helps !


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