We have had so much fun doing school this year! I haven’t talked much about it, but we’ve really been enjoying ourselves. We’ve covered a lot of ground this year. We started out in the summer with basic plant parts, and did a lot of science experiments with plants. It was a LOT of fun! Then, we moved into a long unit on Native Americans where we learned about many tribes of Native Americans all across the United States. Again, a lot of fun! Over the winter, we took some winter break time and then did some handwork. Sofi learned to knit, and to use the sewing machine. We did some tie dye. Again, tons of fun. All along, Walter has been learning his alphabet, since he is doing KINDERGARTEN this year! And he has done so well! I am super proud of him. He wasn’t sure he wanted to do Kindergarten this year, but he has enjoyed himself so thoroughly, he is really glad he did. And today, he learned his final letter! He knows the entire upper case alphabet now! Super proud!
We just have two units left for the year. We will end up with storytelling and fables, and we are just starting into a math unit. We’ve had the tiniest bit of trouble with the math unit. Namely that Sofi is acing it and eating up my lesson plans in days instead of weeks! We started off with patterning. We’ve never worked on anything like it before, and I thought she might struggle with it. Was I ever wrong! So, we stared into place value and number recognition half a week early. Again, I have several days of this planned and she has just breezed through it in 2 days. She learned her numbers from 1 to 100 last year, as part of first grade. This year we needed to do from 100 to 1000. I thought the best way to teach this was through a thorough understanding of what the numbers meant, instead of just trying to memorize the numbers themselves. I found this great base 10 place value kit, and used it to give Sofi a concrete understanding of what the places meant.
Sofi and I cut out the pieces for the ones, tens, hundreds and thousands. We used the provided sheet with the ones, tens and hundreds column and I explained how if we count out 10 of the ones squares, that is the same as the 10 squares on the tens strips. So 1 strip is the same as 10 ones. Then I explained that the 100 squares on the hundreds square was the same as 100 ones or 10 ten strips. The visuals really helped her to grasp the idea of all of this. Then, we started putting it into action! I found a deck of cards and divided the suits. I pulled out the 10s and face cards, and shuffled each suit. I put one suit, face down, above each column on Sofi’s sheet. She flipped the top card of each deck and that became the number for that column. I would write the number on the board and we practiced reading it. Then she used her paper manipulatives to create the number on her paper. And she caught on so fast! And she loved using the playing cards to determine the numbers. I loved that it completely randomized the numbers.
After she had done several numbers, I slipped a 10 into her hundreds deck. When she flipped it, I showed her how to add the column for thousands and make that work. I gave her the thousands cube, and she added it right into what she was already doing. Bam! Number recognition to 1000, and understanding place value! She practiced yesterday and today, and she’s doing great with it.