Thursday, 17 March 2011

More Mathematics!

We've been moving through the RSM curriculum at a steady trot over the past few days.  RSM provides different types of representations for each number from 0 to 10 - the abacus, Place-Value Cards (which are cards with the numerals, "1", "2", "3", etc printed on them), tally sticks, fingers and other representations (we use colourful round magnets) - and we've been working on ensuring that Emily can translate between the different representations.  This means that she must understand how to show the value "8" and other values from 0 to 10 using each of the representations listed above.  So far, she seems to find this very easy and we've been able to go at a steady pace.

This is what 8 looks like in RSM
Last night's lesson was particularly fun as we got to introduce some new manipulatives, including the Finger Cards which show the different number values using pictures of fingers.  We also played a memory game with the Bead Cards provided by RSM. 

Both the Finger and Bead Cards came printed on good-quality cardstock as part of the Level A and B Appendices, which you can buy as an add-on, and which came highly recommended by Angie of Teaching Our Own.  I did, however, have to cut out the cards which took a bit of preparation time.

Bead Cards Memory Game
The memory game works like this.  Each number from 1 to 10 is represented by a picture of beads, similar to the beads on Emily's abacus.  There are two identical cards for 1, two identical cards for 2, etc. 

I shuffled the 20 cards and placed the cards face down on the table.  Emily then got to turn over two cards at a go and had to identify what value each card showed.  If the two cards matched, she got to keep the cards.  If they did not match, she had to return the cards to their face down position, and it was then my turn. 

She had no problems identifying the cards after some practice (incidentally, it's actually not easy recognising nine beads at a glance!).  But what really amazed me was Emily's ability to remember where cards were, many moves after she had first uncovered them.  In fact, she rarely made "mistakes" and hardly turned over the wrong card once she had seen a particular card once.  Amazing stuff!
Emily "challenging" my helper to a Bead Cards Memory Game a day after beating me at it!
I will be introducing Part-Whole Circles in the next lesson.  I think the concept behind these circles is partitioning, i.e. that the value "5" can be partitioned into "2" and "3" or "1" and "4", for example.  This appears to be a lead-in to solving simple addition problems using the abacus.  I'm excited!

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