Math

Montessori Math is Changeing

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Montessori Math is the really one of the most iconic parts of the whole method. We all know and love the golden bead work, the rods, and the bead bars. They have taught thousands and thousands of young children to understand and love math! Here it is no different. Bunny loves math and Pup is starting to as well. However, as Bunny got older, the work of keeping up with all of the threads of the Montessori math work was too hard for me. So in order to keep up with her learning, I needed to find a curriculum. We started using Miquon math and she has been so happy! Miquon uses manipulative in their book, but the beads don’t always work. So we got the rods that the book uses, and Bunny loves them more then the beads! The beads are just like the bead bars, but with different colors. Much like the number rods, they are in metric units and get bigger with each number. So the one unit is one square centimeter. The two is 1×2 cm. You get the idea! There is no way to count the rod, but there is a ruler with a track that will show you the number of each rod. We use it to show the numbers changing with the functions too. Since Bunny loves these so much and I know Pup will start the same math as Bunny in first grade, I thought that it would be easier to show Pup her numbers with the rods instead of beads. With a slight bit of modification, the same Montessori presentations work out perfectly! We are working on the teens board and then we are going to start the golden beads (I will switch out the 10 bar for an orange 10 rod. With the other wooden 100s, and 1000s it will work out perfectly). She is very excited about both and I for one am happy to see her interested in math! I think that her ability to use the rods, like her sister, is a big motivator! Here are some pictures from her work with the rods this week!

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So there you have our new favorite math material! I really think that they can be used as an alternative to the beads. One advantage is that they can be laid next to each other easily without rolling all over. Plus they stack into all sorts of fun ways (play is learning after all). And finally, they are SOOOOO much less expensive and teach the same things as the Montessori beads. A child quickly memorizes the colors of the Montessori beads and that is a part of learning the math. They do that with the rods as well. With the track they can easily see the number and count the sections below the number to “see” it. The rods we use are Cuisenaire Rods. You can see them here! Check it out and let me know what you think! Maybe it will make your Montessori math experience easier and less expensive! Happy Counting! 😉 I linked up to Montessori Monday! Stop by to see some amazing learning ideas!

 

Math Discovery

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If you have been following along here for a while, you know that math has been a very interesting journey. I did Montessori math up until the beginning of the year. We then switched to Modern Curriculum Press. We have been using this for a while, but it is rather limiting for Bunny. I feel like we worked so hard with the Montessori materials to introduce concepts that were really big, but the Modern Curriculum Press book just really focuses on the basics. It doesn’t present any really big concepts for exploration. So, at the recommendation of my mom (a 20 year homeschooler) we ordered Miquon Math. Now I will say that you do need the annotation book that has the teaching guild in it. It helps to understand what they mean by some of those complicated looking pages. But once you really start looking at it, it is really simple and easy to get into. Miquon Math is a simple program that uses Cuisenaire Rod Manipulatives to help teach simple, complex, and big concepts in math to elementary kids! I love that we are now doing all the basic functions, along with fractions, algebra, and geometry. The goal of the program is to allow kids to build their math knowledge in a simple, gradual way while offering flexibility and lots of variety. Bunny is able to pick up the work book and work on her own with very little effort on my part! It is exactly what I wanted. She can use the rods when things are hard (they are metric so they work well with the Montessori materials too) and she is really having fun with it. In fact she is doing 10 or more pages a day! And my prep work?….0! I can see the easy transition to workbook from the traditional Montessori sequence. I was really concerned about leaving all the materials behind just now. This book has manipulative work built right in, so Bunny is still working on “seeing” those big concepts and little one too, while still retaining the ability to choose to do it in her head! It is a truly great program! I am really happy with it and with how simple it is for me! You know that the switch to elementary work has been hard for me, and this math program makes me feel so much better about what we are doing. The best part of all is that Bunny loves it! She thinks it is games and the best part of school! We are back to loving math! In fact is the most “Montessori” math that I have found in a program. Plus, as far a math program goes, it is really affordable! How about you? Have you tried this program?

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Work for Everyone!

Well this week was a bit of a rough one with the places we needed to go and the things that we needed to do. Pup went to town on her Cheetah work, which I showed you the other day, and Bunny….well…we have had better weeks. I did spend some serious time looking into some new ways to do math in the hopes of helping Bunny remember how she really does love math. I dont know what to do with her about that. I re-presented bead frame and found some of the bead frame paper to help. We did a ton of problems and she admitted that it was kinda fun! 😉 I think that I am also going to present her with adding fractions next week. She loves them and has done quite a bit of work on the equivalencies. On the project side, we decided to boil her into to help it get darker, and it worked! She was so happy and excited that it worked! We were able to use a calligraphy pen to write words and she also dyed some paper with it to make it a nice light pink! She is now saving up some beet tops from some of our cooking to use to make some more ink! I guess I was wrong on her interest. She is really trying to find another way to do it. What I dont have is alot of ways to get information. There are no books on it in our library, and there are not too many good websites either. I need to do a little research for her I think. Not maybe the proper way, but it is just too difficult for her to sit and wade through all the website with me. So that will make it into our plan for next week’s worth! She has also been doing alot of creating with some of the creative materials on the art shelf! She found some wood scraps and made a stool. Here is some other work that she has done this week!

 

 
 
Pup’s work toward the end of the week was a bit more playful, but still good! She also has been creating a bunch of stuff with the art shelf! She used some wood scraps to make a computer. She was so proud of it and played with it all day! It now has a place of honor on her desk! We have also been reading more cheetah books and she played with her animals on the painted board of Africa she made!
 

 
So that is what we did during this week! I hope that we are going to have more fun this week, but with Pup’s birthday on Tuesday, we’ll see! 🙂 After all there is alot of other fun things to do with a birthday coming up! She and I decided on a zoo theme and she asked that I use her Cheetah model for decoration, so we will! 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful school week and are headed into a great weekend!
 


School Days {And a plea for answers}!

Well today we did some school work since yesterday was a “holiday”. (One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can have different days off then the school kids)! So we were back to work and did some interesting things. Bunny wrote a book and did some very detailed drawings. I tend to be rather resistant to Bunny working on drawing during school time since she will draw the WHOLE time. Today started to turn into that, but it seemed different somehow. She was really focused and the fact that she was drawing small and with great detail seemed to tell me that she was working on alot of pencil control (her pencil control is really lacking and we do need to work on it). She finished 4 pages and told me she was done. There was no words though, so I asked her to write her story and she did. She always asks me how to spell things and I usually just tell her right off since she is working so hard to get the words on paper, that spelling is not the goal here! The results were really good and I was surprised and proud of Bunny’s hard work.

 
 
Another thing that we finally did was The Fundamental Needs of Humans presentation. I have really been struggling with which direction to go with presentation and how to start working on where mail came from. I just dont know how to get that research going and where to start. So I thought that discussing the fundamental needs of all people could start us thinking about how people need to communicate and share their ideas with others. She seemed interested, so maybe this will work as a jumping off point! 🙂

 
Bunny and I also working on the subtraction snake game alot this week. I am not going to lie, of all the Montessori math materials, the snake game confuses me! It took me about 10 minutes of working with it all on my own to just figure out where the beads were supposed to go! Then Bunny and I must have repeated one problem 5 time before it worked out. Argh! This is leading her to be less interested. I thought it would be fun to figure out the multiplication snake game and help her start to work with some memorization. But I am rather at a loss of where to start! So here is my question to all of you Montessori Mamas out there, where would you continue on the math sequence with Bunny? She knows her operations well, but she still seems unsure on some division sometimes. She has memorized some addition facts, but that’s about it! I feel like there are SO many things that she can be doing, but I am not sure what will be the best thing to start first! I would love to hear your ideas about that!
 
Pup has been working along too! She and I have been working on alphabet sounds and rhyming games. She loves both! 🙂 She is also still doing a ton of puzzles and playdough.  I showed her how to roll a snake with her playdough and she is doing that alot. I think that the highlight of her week though was trying to read with me. I put some of the sandpaper letters together and she was able to say the sounds and read the words! 🙂 I loved seeing her so excited about it!
 

 

 
I think that Pup and I are going to start working on some continents. She is interested and i think that maybe doing some study would be good for her. She is really uninterested in any of the Practical Life work, and I have been having a hard time getting into any of the sensorial extensions either. So maybe some geography, and some more math will be good for her. I am thinking that she will love some number go fetch games!
 
Anyway, there is our week all laid out! It was full of observations and some questions. I felt like I was floundering, but it looks like we did a pretty good job! Do you have weeks like that? I really hope that if you have thoughts on my questions I would really love to hear them! Happy Schooling Everyone!
 
 


Montessori Monday~ Research

Today Bunny asked me to read a book about Legos and how they were invented. It was a long book, but we read it. She thought it was really cool and when we finished I asked her what she thought was the most important and most interesting thing. She told me that she thought it was interesting how the first Legos failed. They wrapped, became discolored, and didnt stay together. Then they found a new plastic type and added the circles on the underside of the brick. She loved that idea. I am wondering if maybe it makes her feel good that something so awesome started off as something less then perfect. So I asked her to write down her thought and she did. She did a beautiful job. I was inspired by Anna over the The Broad Stair when she talked about how research is done. She said that one child can read the work, one writes the work, and one edits. So I read and edited, and she wrote! It is a system that is working out and she is getting her thoughts out on paper! Now I just need to remember to have her read it back to me! Pup also listened to the book and drew a picture of legos! It was pretty cute!

 
We also got a bunch of other things done today too! Bunny played with the multiplication board and we worked on the subtraction snake game. Plus we worked on the some All About  Spelling and some handwriting. I read on Pintrest somewhere (sorry about not having a link) about how you can teach handwriting using a story. Each line is colored a different color, Yellow for the sun, blue for the sky, green for the grass, and brown for the dirt. Some letters sit in the grass and breath in the air. Some letters reach for the sun and keep their feet in the grass. And some letters like to sit in the grass and stick their toes in the mud! Bunny thought it was really cool and loved the idea. It was my hope that maybe she would start to understand lines!
 

 
 
 
 
 
Pup built a ton of puzzles, and she and I worked on some sandpaper letters. It is amazing to see how easily she picks those sounds up! I didnt do any Montessori work with Bunny at that age, so this is a new experience for me!

Here are the sounds she knows! 🙂
 
So that is our kick off to the week. It was pretty good! If you want to see more amazing Montessori fun, be sure to stop by Living Montessori now for Montessori Monday! Happy Schooling!

 


Number Rods and Fractions!

Well despite my wandering mind and need to mix things up a bit, we have done some good work this week! One thing that has amazed me is that Pup has almost mastered the number rods! It all happened so quickly! She finally mastered her numbers last week and this week she started laying the rods out, counting them, and matching them to the number tiles! It was all on her own and she was so happy with her work!She even made sure that she organized them in numerical order! I was so proud of her and of what she has learned!

 
While Pup was working away, Bunny also has been working with her math! She is loving her fractions. I know that they have really made an impression since she is frequently using fraction words in her day to day conversations! She loves them! We have been working on equivalencies. I have held back a bit in moving forward to adding the fractions since I want her to know the equivalencies. But she is dying to learn more. Now I will admit that I have been a little lazy in getting my Fractions Charts done. I just havent gotten it done. Well yesterday, I told Bunny about them and she wanted to make them herself! So I said why not? I explained them to her and showed her a way to set it up. She was super excited! I tried to show her the ones that My Boys Teacher made at What Did We Do All Day, and she told me not to show her because that would be like cheating! 🙂 She did the 1/2 equivalencies and today she did the 1/3!
 

 
So there you have what my little mathematicians work so far this week! I love that they are liking math! As a former math hater, this makes me happy! How is your week? Is there an amazing things happening at your house?
 


Working Away!

Goodness, I dont know where to begin with pictures of the week! The girls have done alot of work and I am really proud of them! Bunny has written alot of stories since she found some paper doll stencils I had! Pup has done alot of math. She did the spindle boxes and the binomial cube! Well….I will just show you! 🙂

Yes we worked on the verb! Bunny loves it and totally understand it!

Pup has been working on sandpaper numbers. She set these up herself. She almost has those last three numbers!

 
Pup gave Bunny a book she made! Their hug was too sweet!
 
Here is another book that Bunny made all on her own! She asks me how to spell things before she write it on the paper. I always ask her how she thinks it is spelled! She is doing a pretty good job, and I can t wait to get the All About Spelling Book I ordered!

We also got to our lesson on the seasons! Bunny really got it and Pup was interested in hearing the names of the seasons. I wanted to find a little song, but I couldn’t find a good one. Does anyone have a season song they use?

Bunny has also been loving the bead chains! This work was pulled out all on her own and she skip counted all the chains! I dont have the cubing chains, but she adds some of our other beads to get to the longer one!

Pup did the binomial cube all on her own! She was so proud and excited!

She also did the spindle boxes! She really enjoyed it and seemed to figure out the number just fine.

She wanted to show me to take a picture! 🙂

Snake game work! We worked on combinations of 10!

Bunny and I also talked about time…again. It seems like maybe this clock is not the best one for learning. Hmmm…I think I need to make the one on What DID We Do All Day.

 
So there you have it! Busy as aways! We have an AWESOME craft planned for tomorrow! So be sure to stop on back. The girls have no idea and they are going to LOVE this! 🙂 Happy Schooling!


Christmas Time Learning!

Well I have noticed lately that Bunny, who has been on school break, seems to have discovered the mystery of division all on her own! She has been working out math problems in her head super fast and accurately! The first time I noticed how fast she was on Christmas Eve. She wanted so badly to give each of Santa’s Reindeer a carrot. I didnt think that nine carrots was a good idea, so I suggested she cut them in half (too many carrots make it hard for the reindeer to fly dont you know). She sat in the fridge for a second and finally she looked at me a said “If we cut them into thirds, we will only need to have 3 carrots!” What!?! I didnt even realize that she could do that in her head so quickly! I’m not sure how she worked it out, but she did!



Today she was looking at her new friendship bracelet kit. I told her it made 40 bracelets and said maybe she could have some friends over to do them with her. She quickly told me “That means I can have 4 friends over and we can all make 10 bracelets each!”






Just My Style Friendship Bracelets
Bunny also has been writing and writing a lot! I am so proud of her! A great example of her writing is her letter to the elves she left for Santa to take to them.
 
 
To Elves,
I love elves.
My Mom made me an elf doll.
PS What do you look like?
 
Pup has also been learning a thing or two! She got a new notebook for Christmas that had a cover for her to color. She and my sister (who is also 3) worked really hard to color in the lines without messing it up! She was so proud of her work and couldnt wait to write in it! I wrote some of the letters we worked weeks ago and asked her the sounds. She remembered them all and was so excited! I think that we are going to have to keep working on some sandpaper letters!
 
 
Another thing that Pup has had a chance to do is practice her practical life skills with the tongs and scoops that were in some of the different serving dishes! Not to mention both girls were working on talking to people politely!
 
Who says kids dont learn out of school? Mine keep learning even when I am not doing anything special! What do your kids learn even while you arent doing school?

A Week of Work!

Well, as I am sure you noticed, I have been rather busy! This doesnt leave me with much time for blogging! Christmas sewing, online shopping, party planning, you get the idea! On top of that, we are heading into a great space theme study that I have been prepping for! We have however, been working along here! Do you want to see some pictures of what we have been up? Here is a bunch of thing we have done this week!

Grammar Farm

Pup did some more pin punching.

I love this series of pictures! Pup was so happy that she was able to trace the blue part! 🙂

Mirror washing

Nuts and bolts

Tangrams

Pup and I also counted the number rods. We picked a number tile and she counted the rods to find the right one! She LOVED it! We did all of them and then we built it into a stair and layed the tiles against them! After we had finished, she told me she had to write her math down! 🙂 So her did and the results blew me away! She really did write her numbers down and she drew the rods too!

Plus I finally started the music bell work! We started off by matching the bells by sound. Pup LOVED it, Bunny was disappointed because she thought we were going to learn to play music in one day! 😉 I told her it took time before we could do that. I think she will love it as we go!

We also started some space work! I did the universe presentation from Karen Tyler albums and we also made the universe project! It was a bit of an epic fail, but after a couple of trys (and a TON of glitter) we finally got it to mostly work. The girls really did love it! Their universes are in a place of honor on their tables!

 
We also got to go to the Fire Station this week! We started our field trip with a story about fireman. Next we were off to explore all the trucks and rescue vehicles! It was so much fun! One of our homeschool mom’s husband is a fireman and he got to share his love of firetrucks with the kids! Plus they got see another mom in full fire gear! It was shocking for the kids at first, but the firefighters really want the kids to realize that if they are ever in a fire, the firefighter coming to find them will not look or sound like a person. This way they know! The rule is if you are in a fire and see a fireman, give him a hug! It was a great way to start talking about fire safety, which we did this week too!

 
 
So there we have it! What a busy, fun and happy week! Stop back in the next day or so to see some trays and what we are going to be up to this week! Happy Schooling!


Mad Math Skills!

Well, we havent had a lot of time for extra schooling lately, but we have gotten the basics in each day! And what is the most amazing thing of it all is that Bunny is still doing really well! She has just exploded with her math! She is loving doing her golden bead math problems in her head, and after a couple of days of her doing the regrouping and borrowing, I think she really gets it! 🙂 We have been doing addition and subtraction problems and she loves that she doesnt need her materials to do it! 🙂 She still hasn’t memorized her math facts, but doing these big problems is going to help her do that! Its not traditional Montessori, but it is what is really reaching her at this moment! Follow the child right? She has also been…get this….reading! Its slow going, but she is motivated and trying to read on her own without me! She is really surprising me!

 


 
Pup has been just hanging around us. She has been a little harder to engage and with Bunny needing my attention, I think she managed to get away from the school room before I realize it! 🙂 She has however, been sewing alot, and stringing lots of beads! It is giving her some good moments of concentration! Plus her little dolls are also starting to get a good Montessori education too! 😉 She has been bringing them along and showing them how to work! We also played a go fetch game with numbers. She know almost all of them, but we still get 6,7,8,9 confused! I am hoping with the game she will get it!
 

 
 
I hope that in the next few days I will get things together for a Space unit! Both of the girl are really interested in figuring out more about how the earth and sun work together! I also want to make a few Christmas trays! So stop on back! I hope you are all having a lovely school week!

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