Summer 2015 – Pit Stop #4

Throughout Summer, I review with my daughter Rosie the math concepts she learned in Kindergarten. A few minutes of Math. Daily. And every Sunday, I write a “Pit Stop” to help you follow our journey. And join us. 

Welcome to Pit Stop #4. What have we been doing this week  ?

Exploring the decimal system – This week, we mostly played with the Base-10 blocks, trading Tens for Ones, Hundreds for Tens, and so on. See my previous post here.

Word problems – We continued to work on addition word problems (e.g. “John had 5 books. He found 4 more books in the living room. How any books does he have all together?”),  representing the problems with at least two different ways (i.e. a drawing and an equation, or using blocks and an equation, etc.)

Since Rosie seemed OK with these addition problems, and before moving to subtraction problems next week, I tried something different.  As a graduate student, I was recently very intrigued with a high-cognitive-task demand (see on the NCDPI website, Task S here, © Friel, Gleason, Goodson-Epsy, and Gunter 2008). I had to give it a try.

I gave Rosie an equation (e.g. 2 + 1 = 3) and asked her to invent a word problem that would match the equation.

It was, I believe, completely new to Rosie, and I was amazed by how much she grew with a task like this. It gave us another angle to discuss in deep the meaning of each part of the equation, the wording of story problems, etc. With her endless imagination, I believe she will have fun coming up with all kind of stories after a little bit more of practice.

Measuring – I was kind of waiting the perfect opportunity to discuss measurement with Rosie: having to measure objects that we could not compare directly. For instance, you do not need to measure a book to see if it fits in a bag, you try to put the book in the bag. Except if the book is at the library and the bag is at home. Then, you measure the book, and check later on if it fits in the bag.

We have a tent that we built, from time to time, in the living room. A great way for the kids to stay busy for an afternoon. And this week, Rosie and I  saw in a outdoor store a tent, quite similar to ours, but much much bigger.

“Mom ! That would be so cool to have this tent when we pretend to go camping in the living room !”.

And here was the opportunity I was waiting for.

“Well, do you think it would fit in our living room?”

Long story short, Rosie eventually came up with the idea of using her foot as a unit of measure. Measure the length, the width.  and checked at home.

Obviously, it is rather unlikely that you come up with the same opportunity with your child, but you see the idea, right?


Classifying / representing data – Nothing new (except that I made sure that Rosie realized, while sorting Lego pieces to build up a castle, that she was having fun doing math.

Geometry – As a follow up of our shape hunt last week (here), Rosie went on a shape hunt around our house with a clipboard. A good way to discuss how to draw shapes, and how some are easier to draw than other.

Rosie's shapes

Rosie’s shapes

The neat part with this activity was that even Tom the Firefighter, my 3 y old son, was into it.


Tom’s shapes

That’s the end of Pit #4. Hope it helps !

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