Monday, March 11, 2013

Fractions and Then Some

We have been busy with some wonderful things here!



 Hoss has started reading in our Abeka American History book, and although we have not used it daily, he enjoys it and I hope to get more into it in the following weeks! 

  
When I first began to use Montessori works/activities for school, Miss Priss loved them - and enjoyed each one as I showed them to her (when I began, I had only a few things). Then she looked at me, just a tad bit let down, and said, " Where are my worksheets?" Of course, this was NOT what I was expecting, but she insisted that she needed to have worksheets. So I pulled out what I had for her, which I had moved out of the way when I decided to do things differently, and simply said, "Okay!" So while I have been able to get enough for her to keep her busy with hands on materials for a good chunk of her school day, she still really enjoys the worksheets - so we still do them! They are usually saved for the afternoons, when Buddy Boy and Bug are down for a nap. I know that worksheets are not the Montessori way, but I believe in following the lead of the child when you can, and adapting the style to what is best for them - after all, that is what led me to the Montessori method in the first place!         



 We also have piano once a week for Little Mama and Hoss, who really love it! Where Little Mama tends to pick up on memorization of the music a little faster, and does enjoy it immensely, I think Hoss still beats her out in the amount of heart he puts toward it! He already has plans to learn "Go Tell It On The Mountain" by heart and play it for church :) Ambitious guy he is.... This pictures shows him singing along as his *wonderful* piano teacher plays a little for him!






We have a great floor puzzle which creates an alphabet train when completed. One of the favorite ways to put it together, especially for Bug and Buddy Boy, is to put it together while watching our LeapFrog Letter Factory video. So as they come to a new letter and sound in the video, they put the next piece in the puzzle. And when they are completed, they 'Walk The Line' and sing the ABC's :)






We have also been further exploring fractions the last couple of weeks. This has been too long in coming for us, but the first set of fraction circles that we had were homemade - which were nice and neat, until we got past the sixths -  then you could tell they were homemade! They weren't horrible, but I just wasn't pleased with them. So while he understood fractions and they were teachable, I definitely wanted to get a better set. 






I found these at a local teacher's supply/toy store here in town. I can't remember the exact brand, but these are very similar, as are these, and both are very reasonably priced for what you are buying :)  


When Hoss finally got his hands on them and started exploring the different fraction circles, I immediately wanted to jump on his interest. I had hoped to find the great fraction charts from What Did We Do All Day, but couldn't find the post I remembered reading when My Boys Teacher was busy making them. If anyone reading this can locate it, PLEASE do link it in the comments - they are very neat and wonderful to see! So I decided instead of spending a long time trying to find them online to show Hoss, I would just give him a quick lesson using the whole and 1/2 fraction circles to show him how to compare them all to each other and find equivalent fractions. Then we went on to make our own charts :) They may not look as neat as they would if I had made them, but the hands-on learning more than makes up for it! 







He took about three days to finish all the equivalencies, but halfway through he inspired his big sister, Little Mama, to make her own. 


I'd also like to note here that he is registered as being in 2nd grade - his sister in 3rd grade. She has used Abeka Math up to this point, which is great and moves faster than a standard public school Math curriculum, the best I can tell. However - she is JUST NOW getting to a little more in depth study of fractions - all with abstract thinking. This just goes to show how much a concrete, hands-on way of learning can help children learn MUCH faster! She is now learning with him, instead of the other way around! I wish so much that I had learned about Montessori years ago, but I can't go back - only forward! So we move on and just try our best, because any effort to invest in your children is worth it!

When they completed all their fraction charts, they were set aside to be placed in sheet protectors and pronged folders, so that they can keep them to use whenever doing fraction work. 


That's just a glimpse of some 'other' work that has been done in the last couple of weeks that hasn't been featured on here. I hope you enjoyed this look in to our life and would love to hear your thoughts!

8 comments:

  1. Hi Amy,

    Here is the link: http://whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2012/10/fraction-charts.html

    I found it by choosing "fractions" under the tags section in the left-hand sidebar. There are 10 fractions posts there right now...I just scrolled through them until I found it. In case you ever need it, there is also a search box in the left-hand sidebar. I just tried putting "fractions" into that and it came up as the sixth post. If all else fails, you can always go to plain old Google and put in something like: "what did we do all day" fraction charts. It comes right up.

    I know you've been struggling to find things on my site lately, so I thought I'd let you know what options you have for finding things.

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    1. Thank You! I don't know how I missed it, unless that's just what happens when you are blog-searching late at night - I either rush right past it trying to hurry and find what I need, or get too busy looking at other interesting things that I don't know about yet! I appreciate you commenting and putting the link up here, and taking the time to help me out with this so I can make sure I am doing things right! :)

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  2. Amy, thanks for stopping by my blog! I am glad my post helped a bit for you! Feel free to ask any questions you have!! But, I have to admit that I think My Boy's Teacher is the expert around here :). I ask her questions when I can! Oh, and on the worksheets, you can also find worksheets that would encourage the use of the Montessori Materials. Might be a good way to encourage both learning methods.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! :) I have been working on stocking up more on those exact kind of worksheets - I don't mind her wanting to use them if she understands, but you are right - seeing her learn from both methods at the same time would ensure that she is truly understanding what she is being taught! And when it comes to experts, ANYONE knows more than I do and I probably ask way too many questions, but I will eventually get this all figured out :)

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  3. Ahem. Its a little early in the game for this uncertified Montessori-love to be considered any kind of expert. I'm going to go hide from the responsibility Lisa's statement implies under a rock somewhere.

    I DID see this article this week and thought of you both: http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2013/03/07/what-if-your-kid-loves-worksheets/#more-3466

    I'm not sure the article "says" anything, but you may enjoy the spirit of it.

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    1. Expert or not, you have more experience than I do :0) And your blog has long been one of my favorites, because, although I've yet to be able to purchase many *real* Montessori materials, I love seeing how they are used and getting some good ideas for what I can substitute or make on my own :) Thank you for the link - I will be sure to check that out because my girl really loves her worksheets and doesn't feel like she's done with the day if she hasn't been able to do some!

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  4. AMy,
    I am so glad to meet you. I have following you at Teach Beside me. I adore looking at your children's work and your children. You have a beautiful family.
    I have a children's book called TAdeo Turtle that I wrote and illustrated. It included craft activities. Also a free curriculum is available for the asking.
    Blessings to you,
    Janis

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    1. Hi, Janis! Thank you so much for your kind words! I took a minute to look up your book, and it looks wonderful! Definitely going to go on a list of 'must haves' for our children to have to read at home. I am glad you are enjoying the blog, but goodness knows I'm nothing apart from what God has given me and done for me daily! Grace and a boatload of wisdom from Him gets me through this journey of homeschooling and I just get to enjoy the rewards!

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