Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Math Conversation

Math doesn't always look the same from one homeschool to the next. Each family has a different way of teaching and their learners each are unique and have their own way of learning the concepts and information. (zoning in on the way your child learns can be key to success in learning math at home)

In our home math workbooks are becoming quite obsolete~ at the request of my boys from time to time they enjoy a worksheet from their workbook ( Horizons) but often we work mostly on our wipe board and do math notebooking, math games, math projects, 5 a days and also use math readers.

One particular math reader we are reading right now is a book called 7x9 Trouble written by Claudia Mills. It is a delightful book about a 3rd grader who is learning his times tables. My youngest son loves it. We have been practicing our times tables and I thought this book would be a perfect fit for him.

We had not read it for a bit since I had been away and we wanted to get back to the book because is it so entertaining.
While reading the book we started a math conversation, which happens often while we read our math readers. Today as we read we talked about Associative Properties with multiplication. The book explained - when we know certain number of times tables - we may know more than we think because if we turn the factors around then we find that there are some we already know~

Our youngest thought this was really interesting. We had introduced Commutative Property once before but never in this capacity so this (coming from a different angle if you will) made things seem much different for him. He had learned about this in his old workbook and did very well, however, once discussing it in a kind of math conversation, (for him) this seemed quite different.

We went on to discuss this and I gave examples and I believe he understands and yet he is still unsure~ we will work more and "talk" more about it tomorrow~

Do you have "math conversations" with your learners? Reading from a textbook on how to do a particular concept is one way of learning a skill, however, adapting it to real life or a conversation can seem quite different for our learners. In some ways it helps to see if the information has been processed correctly or has been internalized. Many times we think they know something because right in front of us is the worksheet or workbook that shows they "can" do it, but can they? Can they explain the process back to you? Hmm, not always.

Math readers and taking time to have math conversations can play an important role in their math learning. Either at home or anywhere.

I plan to find more opportunties to expand our math conversations for my learners at home~

Happy Math Learning~


BlankMondragon said...

You are talking about the Commutative Property, not the Associative Property.

I incorporated that property into these multiplication tables flash cards. Mainly to save paper :)

Learners at Home said...

Thank you ! I think it was one of those times when you mean one thing and write another~ I appreciate you correcting me~ thanks so much~ :) I am going to do that as well to (saving paper) great idea! and this way it just reinforces what we are trying to bring across :) thanks so much again. :)

Sparklee said...

As always, great ideas! Now I have another book to add to our library list!

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