Sunday, November 26, 2006

learning numbers

so i have to toot my horn when i find something that really works. i have to because this blog is often a big whine fest so i have to put up the good stuff when i can too. :)

so a few weeks ago i just grabbed a piece of paper and told maeven we were going to play a counting game. this because i was realizing she really needed some work on her numbers, because she just wasn't quite getting the concept of counting very high yet. she could, sorta, but not good enough by my thinking...so i wanted to give her some practice and i figured writing practice would be good too because she still does many of her numbers kind of garbled and backwards.

so i wrote 1 and she wrote 2 and then i wrote 3 and so on...we kept alternating...oh we used 2 different colored pens to distinguish the numbers more too. so then whenever we got to a point where she was unsure what was next i went ahead and did it for her and she picked up when she felt she could. usually i only had to do 1 number and she would figure out what was next.

also interesting, and something i'm proud of myself for...i don't like correcting her. it just feels yucky. i don't like to say "no, honey, that's backwards"...it just feels like a slap in the face. but at the same time i don't want her to get in the habit of writing backwards or incorrectly. so what i figure out was that doing this game, all the numbers come up eventually. so even if i'm doing the evens i do eventually get a chance to write some odd numbers because when we get to the 30s, i'm doing 3s and in the 50s i'm doing 5s, and so on...so what i found out is that i don't have to say a word if she writes them wrong. we just keep going and she eventually sees what i'm writing and follows suit. so for the beginning she was writing all her 5s backwards...but once we got to the 50s, and i was writing a lot of 5s with her, she figured out that her 5s didn't look like mine and switched to the correct way about halfway through the 50s. pretty clever girl! :) and clever mommy to just let her figure it out, eh? :) *pat self on back* worked that way for a couple different numbers, i noticed.

and i also figure...that the more practice she gets, the more she will notice when she's doing them backwards. so i just don't say anything. she'll get it. :) so we've played this game twice now and both times she enjoyed it. another benefit is that she can SEE the odds and evens because we've written them in different colors. and when we remember to stop at 10 and start a new line with 11, stop at 20, new line at 21...then she is really seeing the pattern in the numbers. and i know the more we do this the more she'll see the pattern, without any prompting (other than maybe "hey, look at that" from me) and no drilling and no (UGH) worksheets! pretty neat!

i think the 5s will also be obvious this way too...we'll continue to talk about them and...oh i just thought of another idea...perhaps we will try patterning with more than 2 colors...with each of us alternating 2 colors or something like that...have to think about that. that could be really interesting.

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