Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vito loves counting.  He may not know yet how to count from 1 to 100 but he knows how to integrate math and numbers in daily life.  He mastered his 1:1 correspondence early on and now he’s learning how to count beyond ten.  I was surprised the first time I heard him counting from 11 and up.  I didn’t introduced that to him yet but he already knows.  It’s like self taught, but I was thinking that he might have learned it from his brother.  And because he might be in a sensitive period on number now, I decided to give him a few exercises to recognize and name numbers from 11 to 20, and understanding what those numbers represent in quantity.

First, he’s been practising his short bead stairs religiously for the past weeks.  The beads we’re using are part of the Decanomial Beads I bought years ago for Mavi.  This is his favourite math activity, and mostly an independent work.  He would choose this daily, on his own and I would just assist him if he needed me, but as I said, he works on this by himself.  Lately he discovered our red number tiles and decided to use them with the beads.

He figured out that the number symbols can be represented by  the beads and he discovered this on his own.   Here, he is using our Montessori beads learning pack

All the printable bead activities are in this learning pack and if you are interested you can click the image below for the product’s link.

Next, he used another activity page from our learning pack.  Another extension activity that he wanted to achieve.

Here, he is checking his work, arranging the beads and the number symbols.

One of the best things about Montessori materials is having control of errors.  The kids are able to work independently because they can check their own work and discover their “mistakes” on their own, and be able to correct it without the interference of a teacher/parents.  Here the control of error is another sheet of his work.  He learned that if his work matches the control sheet, then he’s doing it right.

He’s been doing these work for weeks and a few days ago, I could see that some of these activities doesn’t seem to satisfy him anymore.  Also, he started counting the teens on his own and would ask me what’s next after eleven.    To practise counting and number recognition for 11 and up, I gave him the Montessori Hundred Board.  I gave him the appropriate number tiles (up to 20) and made him arrange them on the board using the control copy.  He seems to enjoy this activity, counting and at the same time completing the board while checking the numbers in the control board if they match.  I will make our Hundred Board available in the shelf so he can work on them independently whenever he wants to.

Next, I introduced our Teens Seguin Board.  These boards are basically used for teaching the teens and tens.  First, I showed these to Vito and let him identify the number.  He immediately answered “10” and hurried to pick our ten beads.  Without me telling him, he placed the ten beads side by side to the teens board.  Once he’s done with this, I told him we can make eleven, twelve, thirteen (and so on) using the boards and its corresponding digit tablets.

We worked till seventeen until he showed signs of fatigue.  I think it’s quite a lot of work for a 3 years old, so I asked him if we can continue it next time which he happily complied.

This was a wonderful time when Vito showed signs that he’s ready for some level up in his math skills.  Just like in any of our activities, I’ve been waiting for this time that he’ll show some interest.  Of course, I would introduce but always shelved the activities once he’s not interested.  For the coming days, we’ll be doing more hundred boards and teens work and will post once I see some significant progress or a change in interest.