Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Math Lessons

If you've been reading here a while, then you know that about two years ago I gave up using Horizons Math and began using Math on the Level. While Horizons was a very good fit for my computational whiz and problem lover, E13. It was a horrible fit for R11- the hands on artsy girl. There's only so many times you want to pay for a workbook (even if it's only $10) and whittle down how many problems are required only to watch the ones you did assign get finished only after hours and after a lot of tears. It really wasn't about the workbook anyway. It's not how I wanted our homeschool to look. We needed to make a change. Additionally, it was WAY too easy to send the kids away with their assigned set of problems and spend very little time in creative instruction. If I had to follow the manual for 3-4 different grades, that would have been a lot of time spent on math instruction alone. So, I decided on a more living math approach through Math on the Level.

One of our math resources- this is a great book for working with several kids of different skills and ages.

In this lesson, I was giving them differing amounts and asking them to find as many ways as they could to come up with that amount.

R11, in 6th grade, could find the most and this was a great activity for her.

She ran out of money before she ran out of ideas for combinations. Note that I used REAL money!

J6 was working on this too- never been taught with lots of lessons the value of coins or addition, but play pays off ladies! He rocked this activity. He found lots of coin combinations that added up to the total I gave him. Then I created a writing portion of the lesson for him.

This year my focus with him is on handwriting. However, he wants copywork more and I found success with a word list. I think his drawings of the coins look pretty good too!

This is a typical math day right now. We are focusing on money and decimals to start the year. Once the lesson is over, the older kids do their "5-A-Days" which is a set of five practice problems I give them based on what they need to review. I use the MOTL auto spreadsheet for this. Basically, it's an Excel spread sheet which I used to list out the concepts my kids have already been taught. Then when I tell it how often I want it reviewed, it generates a daily list of what types of problems my kids get each day for that week. It's a slick piece of programming let me tell you!

In another post (soon) I will explain the math concept target lists (the ones in my planner) and how I use them to design instruction and guide our way through the math year. I'll explain how often we do lessons on new concepts vs math adventures and how we record it all.


Rachel said...

Thank you, I look forward to the forthcoming details. I purchased MOTL but I'm having a little trouble implementing it...making it harder than it should be...I know! For now I am just keeping track of what kinds of things we do on the delayed formal math record sheet. When did you start five a days? My son is 6 (first grade). Maybe you have a post on 1st grade math....or you want to write one ;)

Nicole said...

We use a free online program called MEP (Math Enhancement Programme). We have loved it so far because it is more problem solving and the why's, than just "paper math". Then on Thursdays we do Living Math where I take the concepts from what we did in MEP that week and do something fun with it. Last week we did a chalk number line on the driveway. This week we are going to do a measurement scavenger hunt. It's great fun! I have "Family Math" tucked away for when she gets a bit older. I checked out a book this week called "Arithme-Tickle" which looks like loads of funnnn!

Tiffany said...

I'm glad you have found something that works for your kiddos.

Mrs. H said...

I love the Family Math series of books! I bought them as a supplement to our "main" math curriculum
(Horizons). But over time we have come to use the Family Math books more than the other.