Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We veered off course this week and did some activities involving meaurements. This week was an unusual week, because we had a conference we attended starting on Thursday.  That really threw us off, but we were still able to get a  lot done.

We read Millions to Measure and How Long or How Wide. We used a yard stick and a tape measure to measure our favorite stuffed animals and compare their sizes.  Later in the week when my nephew was over I had each child pick something from the house that they wanted to measure and we used linking cubes to measure each item.  Then, of course, they spent lots of time just building with the linking cubes.  

We had fun with a book called Gobble Up Math.  1 of the exercises included measuing popcorn before and after it was popped.

We also measured things around our house.  At this point, I'm not trying to get the kids to remember all of the right terminology.  I'm just introducing them to measuring in general.

This weekend we are having fun with Pattern Play.  What a fun way to engage our children's minds!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New blog design

Yea!  Look a my pretty new blog!  Isn't it gorgeous?  I wish that I could take credit for it, but my peeps over at  did an awesome job!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break!

I officially deemed this week Spring Break.  We weren't going to take a Spring Break, because our school year starts in Jan., so we haven't been at this very long.  However, the weather was just too good to pass up.  We did do 2 things this week.  We read the Gummi Bear Counting book and followed this lesson plan

Now, I have to warn you that this book is very simple.  It would be a good activity for children that need some extra practice with number recognition.  How I used it was that I would read the page and when it got to the part where I was supposed to say a number I would point to the large number on the page and have the children call out the name of the number.  This worked really well.  They thought it was fun, and it helped me to know which numbers they still need help on.

When we were done with the lesson plan I had the kids take their numbers and put them in order.  That was such a good reinforcement.  I definately suggest it.

The other activity that we will be doing today is a number hunt.  We are going to put on our "spying glasses" and go hunt for numbers around our house.  It should be fun.

For some reason my children are still struggling with number recognition.  So, I will be working on that, but I also want to ease up and do some other things, and just let all of the stuff that we've been doing sink in.

In other news, my oldest can officially count to "30"!!!  WoooHooo!  My son is this close, but not quite there.  Yea!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mid-Week Encouragement

Here is a great article on getting started with Living Math. is an awesome resource!  It was a little overwhelming to me when I started, but now I'm starting to be able to gain some insight from it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Check this out!

Check out the DVD!  Sid the Science Kid:  The Ruler of Thumb.  What an awesome introduction to graphing. measuing, and more!  WOW!  I definately recommend this one.

Sunday Somethin' Special

Here is a link to a great FREE game that someone on the WTM foruns suggested.  It looks really cool. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Week of 3/8-3/14/10

Another successful week of living math!  Yea!  I'm really liking this and so are the kids.  It just seems so natural.  We started the week off with this book:                     

The following day we made a group graph using coins, so we were able to accomplish 2 things at once.  I think that this really helped to solidify their graph skills.  We used our white board and I drew a blank graph.  Then, sorted all of the coins and discussed the names of the coins.  To my surprise, my Dd already knew the names of all but one of the coins.  Huh.  Interesting.

Then, we worked together to make a graph of the coins.  We were just comparing the number of coins in our graph.  My oldest liked the graphing so much that she wanted me to make another blank graph for her to do on her own.  She did a pretty good job!

The kids now seem to have a solid grasp of graphing.  So, later in the week we got out our Singapore books and stamps and completed pages 43-52.  The pages go super quick, because we use number stamps to answer the problems.  Educational Insights See and Stamp Jumbo Numbers and Math Symbols Stamps. I don't require my son or daughter to complete any workbooks at this age, but I do offer it to them.  Both children were more than excited to get to do the workbooks, because they love stamps.  The stamps are a little big, so we had to improvise in some areas, but I think the size of the stamps are good for their little hands.

Honestly, I don't think that there is any need for the workbooks.  I can tell just by working with them whether or not they know their stuff.  I guess I'm just adding it in for fun???? 
For the last day of the week (we do math 4 days per week), we did an activity pages 68-69 in Family Math for Young Children. 

It is an activity where you guess how many Tablespoons of rice or beans, etc.  it will take to fill up a cup.  Then, you take turns rolling a die (dice) and putting in that many T. of rice until the cup is full.  I didn't have any dice, so we used a poker chip a I wrote the number2 on one side and the number 3 on the other side, so that we could flip it.
I have both of the Family math books.  In my opinion there is a pretty big difference in the young children book vs. the older book.  I really, really like the young children book.  It helps the children form a really good foundation of comparing and estimating which are essential skills for math and science.  I'm pretty impressed!

In our evenings this past week and our upcoming weekend we will be using these fun and educational games:                                        

Mighty Mind is AWESOME!  Again, Mighty Mind is AWESOME!  No joke.  It's fabulous.  It progresses the child through a series of number cards that increase in difficulty.  They also have a magnetic version that you could use in your car or just simply if your children are having trouble keeping the pieces steady.  I higly recommend them.

On to my future plans, after looking through our Singapore Earlybird books, my state standards, and the Family Math series I have put together a sort-of game plan.  Just basically an overview of things that I would like to accomplish over the next couple of months or so.  Please remember that we school from Jan.-Jan.  So, our school year just started.

The main things that I am going to be focusing on come out of the Scope and Sequence of the Singapore.  Things such as:

Unit 3: Numbers to 10

Unit 4: Order (Number order)

Unit 5: Shapes

Unit 6: Patterns

Unit 7: Length and Size

Unit 8: Weight

Unit 9: Capacity

Unit 10: Compare Sets

However, a lot of these things are things that my children are alrea comfortable with (if not mastered) from prior teaching or just daily life.  So, some of these units I won't be spending much time on.  plan to s a living book to teach these units asas living math activities.  I will use the Singapore pages when I want to, but I won't feel pressured by the Singapore books. Some of the units the kids will pick up using other acitivities such as the pattern puzzles for shapes, etc.  I do, however, have some goals for the next year or however long it takes.  
  • I want to do a lesson out of the Family Math for Young Children book (see link above) at least every other wk if not every week. 
  • I also want to make sure that my children can count to 30 and count objects to 30.  The kids are really close to this, but we still need to work on it a little.
  • I want them to be able to add using objects to 10
  • I want to improve my children's estimating skills
  • I wan to work on things like length, weight, etc.  
  • I want to continue to offer fun games and activities that are math related for in the evenings and the weekends. 
I'm not sure how it will look from week to week, but I do have some things to focus on when I plan my week.   I have a couple of fun things lined up for next week so come back and check them out!  I'm also getting my blog renovated by the girls over at the Cutest Blog on the Block.  YEA!!!
Here is our oldest enjoying the Geoboard puzzles.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Somethin' Special

Every Sunday I'm going to **try** to post a litle somethin' special for my readers.  This week it is another freebie that was suggested on the WTM forums.  This is a link to Math Their Way Summary Newsletter.  It's free if read online and has TONS of hands-on practical applications for math.  I'm very intrigued by the way that they teach writing numbers.  Take a look and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.  Also, if you have a little $ burning a hole in your pocket take a look around the rest of their site. Click here to go directly to the Summary Newsletter.

It's like Christmas around here....

I've been doing a little amazon shopping lately.  Shhhh....don't tell.  This is what I got in the mail this week...

I also got my used Family Math books in the mail.....YEA!!!!  I have a few other orders coming in over the next week or 2.  So, stay tuned to find out how I will be using all of these fabulous things.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Week of 3/1/10-3/7/10

Our first week of living math and dropping the curriculum has gone better than I had ever hoped!  The kids had so much fun!  They loved doing math.  That makes it a success this week in my book.  We started the week off by reading this:

Then, we did one of the acitvity suggestions in this book and used silverware to make patterns.  After we finished with that I brought out some playing chips that we use for a family game and I started a pattern for each of the kids to finish independently.  After they finished that they made up their own patterns.  Something so simple, and yet the kids loved it!

The next day I thought that we would work on number recognition and writing our numbers.  I'm of the mind that I really don't like to push writing.  So, we are kinda late on this, but I wanted to make sure that their fine motor skills were up to par before starting.  I'd hate to frustrate them, and then they not like writing.  So, to practice writing our numbers this is what we did:

That's shaving cream with their choice of food coloring in a zip-lock baggies taped at the top.  I made 2 mistakes with this activity.  I put too much in, and I put the shaving cream too close to the top of the baggie.  What resulted from me doing that was that it was really hard to get the air out of the baggie which made it hard to see the lines we were making.  Oh well, I'll know better for next time.

On Wednesday we had a REALLY fun day!  I printed off these.  And we did this:

And here is what the youngest did while we were doing our math:

I guess she likes math, too!

I added to the lesson plans for that sheet and we did 3 things.  First, we used the m&m's to count to 30, then we sorted them into colors.  After they were sorted into colors we did some patterning and lastly we did the graph.  I bought an extra bag of the candies and split them between all of my kids in their own small bowls before we started so that they weren't tempted to eat their "math".  Look at how many different concepts we covered so easily!

I printed out some dot-to-dots for free online.  My children have been struggling with number recognition past 7, so I printed off some free ones that only go up to 10.  I thought that I would put them in a folder and give them to the kids to have fun with this weekend.  A couple of the pages that I printed off only go up to 5, but I thought that it would be a good confidence booster.  Here are links to the sheets that I printed off:

It was a crazy week with our move, so we are cutting the week short, but we will be working on writing the number 4 in our salt boxes tomorrow. 

This week's failures (or something like that):

We are in the middle of moving, so we weren't able to get as much done as I had hoped.  I have all of these grand ideas, but sometimes it just doesn't work like that.

I bought a set of tanagram blocks and an animals patterns book from Sonlight, but when it came in the mail the book is really for older kids.  That was disappointing.  I'm trying to find some free tanagram puzzles online that will fit our blocks.

I'm starting to feel somewhat "behind".  I'm working hard to fight those urges.  My kids are only 4 and 5!!!  how behind can they actually be?  I'm such a planner that this whole "fly by the seat of my pants" thing is hard sometimes.  When I start incorporating the Singapore I think that I will feel more organized.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lost treasures...

We are in the middle of a move, so I decided to go back through my gobs of random homeschool supplies to see if I had anything that I could use for math fun.  Here's what I found:

Yea!  I found buttons, link cubes, a couple of games, lacing beads, Mighty Mind, and a shape sorter for my youngest.  All of these things should lend themselves well to our math studies.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I heard some amazing words today.....

"Mom, I LOVE this math!"  followed by "Can we do this math everrrrry day???"

I haven't even brought out the andy for graphing, yet!!!  Today was our first day of living math, and those words are music to my ears.
I picked up our books for the next couple of weeks yesterday from the library.  I've decided on a couple of them and some activities that we will be doing with them.  Then, at the end of the week I will share what we used.  That is what I will do until I get the sutff that I ordered in.  After I get those in I hope to be able to share our overview for March/April with everyone.  Have a good week!!!