Monday, July 26, 2010

# A Smattering of Math

I really don’t know why Anna developed a notion that her math skills are lacking. I heard that some kids have the same problem with reading – they don’t believe that they are making progress even when they do. I am happy to say that playing math on the computer has helped her confidence dramatically. In her words, I was missing math skills. They were wiggling and jiggling in my head. Computer helps me out with math, and now they (the skills) wiggled in. I think working on math skills in simple games helps her forget her doubts and focus on the activity itself. It cracks me up that she thinks that computer teaches her math, since we only play games that reinforce what she already knows. Still she comes up with the statements like this: Mama, stop talking about math. I want to learn math from the computer, not from humans. Despite these protestations, she does quite a lot of math activities of her own choosing that have nothing to do with computer – playing with counting blocks, with her digital and analog clocks, measuring length with a ruler and a measuring tape, rearranging magnetic numbers on the fridge, fiddling with her tangrams. I wrote about our Miniluk before, and I credit this game in reinforcing Anna’s knowledge of numbers and her ability to arrange them into a number line when nobody is looking. I admit that usually she avoids playing with it since my husband threw a few of harder challenges at her, but lately she has been returning to it on her own. She also plays other board games that involve dice and traversing a number board.

We also cook and bake together when opportunity presents itself. Anna loves baking and is always anxious to help. We read the recipe together and discuss teaspoons and tablespoons, how to make two tsp of vanilla extract using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, etc. She still uses those terms every which way when she is busy with her pretend cooking, but I am positive that she is learning more from cooking together than from her precious computer even though she might not be thinking so.

Come and share your math activities via Math Links at Joyful Learner.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Anna is so verbally creative - I love the image of math skills wiggling, and jiggling in her head!

Debbie said...

That is cute the math wiggling and jiggling around in her head. As I read this it made me think of Selena, she reads so much more then she wants to let on, yet every so often we are able to fool her and get it out, while on the other hand math comes more natural in her abilities and play.

Joyful Learner said...

I wonder if it's a right brain left brain thing. JC makes up math problems all the time and seems fascinted by numbers that I don't feel like I have to do much. Reading on the other hand, I feel I need to put more effort in and she reads well but doesn't seem to take to as naturally as math and art.

Mom and Kiddo said...

I love using cooking to sneak in fraction practice, too.

Christy said...

It amazes me that Anna would even think to say that she had any problems at all with math. She must keep you on your toes!

I have to look for that game now.

Kim said...

She's so funny. I'm glad you found something that makes her think she's good at math though! It's suddenly Crumpet's favorite subject, so give it time. She'll realize she can do it and that it's fun.

Ticia said...

I love how she phrases stuff! It's so much fun.

MaryAnne said...

Anna speaks so eloquently for her age! I think cooking is a great way to learn fractions, and other math skills. She is lucky to be exposed to so many different ways of learning (and reviewing what she already knows).

Pathfinder Mom said...

Isn't it interesting that she might think that she's lacking anything? Little does she know how far ahead of the curve that she really is. All of that awesome math play time will serve her so well!

Fairion said...

We use cooking as a way to sneak in math talk as well. Froggy loves to cook with me and never grumps about the math talk there even though it is much higher than the math talk elsewhere that she does grump about.