Thursday, October 8, 2009

Odd and Even

Recently we ran into a little snafu with the Right Start Math curriculum I am using with Little Bean. The program teaches the child that instead of counting, he should view numbers 6 through 10 as "5 and"--5 and 1 is 6, 5 and 2 is 7, etc. Well, that was no problem for Bean to figure out. What was a problem though was when all of the sudden his math lesson called for the dot cards, picture above. You'll notice that they are not arranged as "5 and", but in sets of two. Yet, the RS people still wanted Bean to know the values of the cards without counting.

I am a firm believer, after having watched Little Bean, that understanding patterns in numbers is far superior to counting them to find out the quantity, so when this stumped him, rather than brushing it aside and moving on with our lessons, I stopped for some review. We spent all of last week reviewing the dot cards, playing games and just working with them to familiarize Bean with their values-without counting.

In this photo, I asked Little Bean to place a red counting bear beneath each even card and a green bear under each odd card. He did this quickly, and then gave a chuckle before noting that the numbers made a pattern--odd, even, odd, even. Of course, I already knew that, and I was hoping that knowing that would give him another strategy for learning the values of the cards without counting. I was delighted when he understood right away that every other number was odd, and that knowing that could help him understand the values of the dot cards that much more.

6 comments:

Twisted Cinderella said...

Princess Belle has troubles with numbers but has a great time with patterns. Discovering the patterns in her numbers really helps her to make sense of number problems like counting by 2, 5, and 10's.

Lea said...

Wow, that is impressive. He seems like he is really far along for his age in understanding math concepts. How old is he now?

You did a great job of breaking this down to help him understand it better.

Jennifer said...

Lea--He turned 4 in April, so he is about 4.5 now. It does seem like an advanced concept for his age group, but since I know him better than the other 4 yo's I know, I really can't compare! RS does a great job of really leading the child to understand math concepts.

Lea said...

That's great. We have RS but have not started it yet. We will probably start it sometime next year. Ben just turned 4 on Sept 20 and Nick turns 4 on Nov 11. I think they will probably be a bit more ready for it if I wait a few months.

Jennifer said...

Lea, I totally agree. I started using this with Bean when he was super early 4, and it was really hard for him. I put it away for a few months, and when I took it out again, he was ready for it.

Tot Play: A Learning Journey said...

Were you using Level A or B at the time this activity was done? I am trying to decide what level to purchase. The placement test and a friend of mine recommended Level B, but my daughter is still VERY young. She works at a much higher level and it seems like she begs for more and needs a challenge to stay interested. Do you recommend starting at Level A or B? I have heard that Level B reviews the concepts taught in Level A at a very quick rate and that Level A is not needed to start Level B
Thanks, Tracey

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