Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Math - More Than Numbers

I am still pretty new to this homeschooling thing.  My oldest is in Kindergarten this year, so we technically have homeschooled for 3 years now, 2 years of preschool and most of this school year.  But I have so much to learn. 

I have said it many times before and I will say it again.  Mother Goose Time has been a huge help to me.  It has given me a great place to start and they have some awesome resources that can help you better understand what it is your child should be learning.  One of these tools is the Developmental Continuum of Skills chart.  This can be purchased through Mother Goose Time and I have mine hung on the wall right next to my computer for quick reference.
Math, which is this months topic for the Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassadors, is one topic I have enjoyed exploring more.  Prior to becoming my sons "official" teacher I thought math was pretty straight forward.  You taught them numbers and math equations.  But my eyes have been opened and now I can see math is all around us.  There are 6 skills that all under the Mathematics and Reasoning category on the Developmental Continuum of Skills chart.  They are numbered 15 through 20 and you can see them in the photo below.
Number Concepts, Shapes, Spatial Awareness, Patterns and Sorting, Measurement & Logic
As we worked through Day 17, which is all about Gravity, I paid special attention to the skills each lesson addressed and I am going to point out a few here.
The first lesson we did called Walking in Space does not technically cover one of the Mathematics and Reasoning skills.  But instead of me putting the cubes together, the boys really wanted to do it themselves.  So I let them.  I thought it was great to watch them work through it and try to figure out how to make that odd shape into a cube.  Definitely lead to a lesson on Shapes and Spacial Awareness. 
The next lesson was the Floating Astronaut Puzzle.  We didn't do it exactly like it instructed.  We were still at the table so I just gave Peter the puzzle pieces and had him put it together.

You can see, right under the title of the lesson, the skills listed.  Shapes 16.2 is a skill that falls into the Mathematics and Reasoning category.  16 being Shapes and the .2 being the subcategory Manipulates parts and wholes.  Out at benchmark D Peter should be able to - Use a guide to put together six to twelve pieces to make a whole object. 
Once we got down from the table we played the game that went along with the cubes we were making earlier.  They rolled their cube and pretended like they were walking on what ever planet it landed on. 
Lachlan's landed on the moon so this is his slow motion moon walk he is acting out. 

Upside-Down Work is the last lesson of the day.  First it asks, how could you run if you were floating in space?  Lachlan promptly got up to show me. 
Here you can see that Spatial Awareness 17.1 is listed as a skill they will touch on in this lesson. 

Spacial Awareness 17.1 says - Flips and rotates objects.  Peter, out at benchmark D should be able to match two similar objects that are turned or positioned in different ways. 
First I took the 3 phonics cards of the letters we learned this month and positioned them in different ways.  Then I had them try to write them in their journals as they see them on the wall.  They were to pretend to be astronauts floating in space when they came across these strange symbols. 

Lachlan did this lesson and wrote his R's upside down, his Ss sideways and his Zs crooked. 
When I first started using Mother Goose Time I rarely glanced at the skills and numbers listed with each lesson.  Slowly I began to dig deeper into the science and research behind every lesson and with that knowledge I have gained a much better understanding of all the key skills they are learning with this curriculum.  I have been able to use this understanding of the skills, specifically Mathematics and Reasoning, by turning everyday moments in our life into teachable moments.  Like when eating spaghetti and they proudly pull out a super long noodle.  We can talk about how long they think it might be (measurement) and compare the length to brothers noodle, is it longer or shorter than his noodle?

After all, math is all around us and comes in many forms.  It's so much more than memorizing numbers.

1 comment:

  1. Love this, I often don't stop to look at or "dig deeper" into my lessons. Great advice:) I need to research and pay attention to those key skills. Our daughter has just been diagnosed with apraxia for her speech. I find that I am loving the skill chart with Mother Goose Time more and more every month.