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Physical Objects to Explain The Abstract

January 27, 2011

 We planned a family day at the park on our usual Sunday family fun day:)  My husband does not like waiting so we all hurry to get ready to go. My husband is done first so he started to work on a project while waiting for the rest of us to be ready. When I finish, I notice my daughters scrambling so I sneak in some sweeping as I wait for my daughters to finish getting dressed.  My daughters finish up, unbeknown to me, and go upstairs since they see mom and dad working on something else. At this point, each one of us is ready, waiting for the others, and moves on to another activity. This goes on for over an hour.

My husband announces that if we are not all in the car in the next ten minutes he is not going! We all scramble in the car. After some frustration, we realize we could have left an hour ago had our communication been effective. Nobody knew the others were ready.

Now I don't typically resort to using tickets but I decided just for once to try to create a physical element to represent each person's readiness level. Each person got a ticket with his or her name on it.  Once a person is ready to leave, he indicates his readiness by putting the  ticket on the kitchen counter.  Now each person can  check the family status of readiness at a quick glance. We only did it once to realize the importance of proper communication.

There are numerous other ways that physical objects can be used to represent abstract ideas. It can be a challenge to communicate or teach something that is not tangible; things like feelings or attitudes.  You can try to put them into words to start and then later give a more visual description.  The associate between your feeling and a tangible object give the abstract a workable state of being. 

A great example of using physical objects to represent abstract ideas is represented in the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, written by Carol McCloud. The idea behind it is that  you fill someone's bucket with love.

Comments: 3

Fun with Rhyming Words

February 03, 2011

Rat a Tat Tat... The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat. The rhyming in the book The Fat Cat Sat on The Mat is pleasing to the ear and acts as a great tool for teaching children the fun skill of rhyming. 

Initially children learn how to recognize beginning letter sounds.  From here you can start emphasizing the letters at the end of words to teach ending sounds like bat, suit, boat, rat, eat...and so on. Once these tow concepts are understood, your child is ready to grasp rhyming. After reading the book The Fat Cat Sat On The Mat, discuss how rat, cat, mat, hat, bat, tat, fat, pat, and sat all rhyme. It may be helpful to write all words out and put the beginning letter in a different color to show that the first letter changes but the end of the word stays the same: Rat, Cat, Mat, Hat, Bat, Tat, Fat, Pat, and Sat.

Later you can extend this activity to playing car games. Wisely use the never-ending time you spend in the car driving your kids all over town to come-up with rhyme words.  You say a word and your children must come up with a word that rhymes. This simple exercise is not only educational for your children, but it helps keep you calm while sitting in rush hour traffic. helhhhe h     he hel h hThisTh 

 

Comments: 2

Reading Math and Teaching Fun: Enjoyable Books that Motivate Children to Learn Math - Age 2 - 12

May 26, 2011

Here is a list of books that will help increase your children's math IQ.  There are four charts: levels 1 - 4.  Reading these books to your children will enhance math sense and help them build strong learning schemas for math. 

Level 1

Patterns: Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom!

Comparing Sizes: The Best Bug Parade, If Dogs Were Dinosaurs

Directions: Bug Dance

Doubling Numbers: Double the Ducks

Opposites: The Greatest Gymnast of All

Ordinals: Henry the Fourth

Understanding Capacity: A House for Birdie

Hours: It’s About Time!

Counting: 1) Math Fables Too by Greg Tang, 2) One Child, One Seed, 3) One Nighttime Sea, 4) Swan Harbor A Nature Counting Book

Odd and Even Numbers: Missing Mittens

Subtracting One: Monster Musical Chairs

Matching: A Pair of Socks, Seaweed Soup

Sequencing: Rabbit’s Pajama Party

Sorting, Classifying: 3 Little Fire Fighters, Grouping at the Dog Show

Quantities: More or Less

Shapes: Windows, Rings, and Grapes – a Look at Different Shapes, First Shape Book, Round and Square  

 

Level 2

Area: Bigger, Better, Best!

Rounding: Coyotes All Around

Time Lines: Get Up and Go!

Understanding Halves: Give Me Half!

Symmetry: Let’s Fly a Kite

Comparing Numbers: More or Less

Numbers 1-100: 100 Days of Cool, 100 Ways To Celebrate 100 Days

Counting by 5’s and 10s: Leaping Lizards, Toasty Toes

Calendars: Pepper’s Journal

Money: Counting Money, Money by Penny Dowdy, Money at the Store by Jennifer Rozines Roy and Gregory Roy, I Can Add Bills and Coins by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson

Probability: Probably Pistachio

Perimeter: Racing Around

Making Predictions: Same Old Horse

Counting By 2s, 3s, and 4s: Spunky Monkeys on Parade

Combinations: The Sundae Scoop

Measuring: Super Sand Castle Saturday

Order: Guess the Order

Shapes: Shapes in Sports, The Shapes We Eat, The Shape of the World Many-Sided Shapes

Odd & Even Numbers: Splitting the Herd

Graphs: Bar Graphs by Vijaya Khisty Bodach

Addition: 1+1=5 and other Unlikely Additions, Adding and Counting On, Mission Addition

Subtraction: Subtraction by Ann Becker

Multiplying: Doubling and Multiplying by Richard Leffingwell

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 3

Estimating: Betcha!

Classifying: Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop

Equivalent Values: Dinosaur Deals

Dividing: Divide and Ride

Place Value: Earth Day-Hooray!

Time: Game Time!

Percentage: The Grizzly Gazette

Angles: Hamster Champs

Bar Graphs: Lemonade for Sale

Negative Numbers: Less Than Zero

Metrics: Polly’s Pen Pal

Finding Unknowns: Safari Park

Subtracting Two-Digit Numbers: Shark Swimathon

Dollars and Cents: Sluggers’ Car Wash

Fractions: Fraction Action, Full House, Fraction Fun

Symbols: Math Words And Symbols

Problem Solving: 1) Math-terpeices: the art of Problem Solving, 2) Word Problems Made Easy, 3) You Can, Toucan, Math

Counting Large Numbers: Place Value

Multiplying: 2 x 2 = Boo! A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories

Math Riddles: Arithmetickle by J. Patrick Lewis 

 

Level 4

Probability: Chance and Average

Roman Numerals: Fun with Roman Numerals, Roman Numerals I to MM

Multiplication: Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

Clump Counting: Greater Estimations

Real World Math: Restaurants By The Numbers

Geometry: Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone,

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Numbers: Go Figure! A Totally cool book about numbers, On Beyond a Million An Amazing Math Journey


 

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