Thursday, March 19, 2015

Doubles Addition Facts

It's been awhile since I posted, but we've still been super busy with school. We've been experimenting with some new ways of doing things and trying to find a new rhythm. Winter was hard for all of us, but the sun is shining again and we are (slowly) thawing.

The improvement in weather-- and attitudes-- means that we are turning corners. Math was hard for us last month because of a few factors:

1) Our text started moving FAST.

2) We were trying to memorize FACTS.

3) Math was suddenly NO FUN for First Sprout, unless it was also easy.

The major sticking point was when our text introduced doubles addition facts (2+2=4, 3+3+6, etc.) and then immediately tried to springboard into near doubles facts (2+3=5, or 2+3=2+2+1). We were still focused on learning the original facts and weren't ready to move on yet, so I stopped what we were doing to re-evaluate the situation. After a lovely chat with some of my teacher friends and family on Facebook, I had a few new ideas on how to proceed.

One thing I decided to do was to make some posters for the doubles addition facts to create a visual reference. I wanted something that would be interesting to First Sprout, and I settled on bugs. Using a combination of hand-drawing and digital-editing, I created this set of Bug Posters for us.

Three legs plus three legs equals six legs.

I printed out the uncolored posters, and let First Sprout customize the colors to make it hands on and personalized. Drawing and coloring the facts helped them to click into place, and we started using the pictures to help us remember. Now, whenever we see 4+4, we think about the number of legs on a spider while 7+7 is the number of legs on a roly poly. It ended up making a frustrating memorization exercise a lot of fun!

Perfect for spring!

Once we have our visual reference in place, we moved on to games and other visual ways to reinforce the concept, such as graphing. It's nice to know that we can improvise and slow down when needed to really get a handle on our content. We're moving on to other math topics now, confident in our ability to tackle tough challenges together.

Until next time,

Happy Learning!