Saturday, October 8, 2011

Math Facts - Using Number Bonds

[before I begin talking about what I have learned about using Number Bonds for learning and mastering math facts I wanted to share a bit of some back ground on how I decided on using these a bit more in our mastery of the facts for our youngest]

We had started early on this year using Khan Academy for our math practice. We had made a shift because our textbooks were wearing us out and were so dry and boring. Information wasn't being processed as it should and the texts were either going at a snails pace or seemed to be just an overload of information on things the boys already knew. 

I have yet to find that perfect math program and having tried several that I found to have worked for a bit I then, have often found  some deficits/gaps in certain areas or was just plain dry! I am convinced in all my reading up on math learning that math really can be fun and interesting for my boys its just that we need to have a different mind set when thinking about math and how we explore and learn it. I want to break out of the cycle of how I was taught Math and so I decided to try a new innovative way for learning the concepts. 

Khan Academy was a big jump for us and a big change but I would have to say after working through Khan this past month I am quite pleased with how things are going in the area of math for us - I will be sharing more as I go along and how I am using this for grading and such for our high school aged learner. 

* note~ a new yahoo email group has been created for parents and educators who are using Khan in their home learning or classroom.  Its been great sharing on there so far so if your thinking of using Khan or already do, join us! Rebecca and I would love to share with you! 

We worked a module this week about  ( a review) the Commutative Law of Addition.  My son did very well understanding after watching the videos.  I liked the fact that after watching the video instead of using just a typical problem Khan used a rather more in-depth problem to answer.

 an example;

 It threw my younger son for a loop and he immediately said "I can't do this".  I realized how important the understanding was for him to realize the properties of numbers and symbols and this really helped me realize that he was so used to being "spoon fed" information by his math texts and even me, that he lacks the critical thinking skills and problem solving for breaking something down and attempting to figure it out on his own.

So we got to work~ I helped explain what he was "actually looking at" and he felt much better and he really actually enjoyed it. One thing I am loving about Khan is how it stretches things for him and us.

We started talking about talking a bit more about fact families and then I decided to talk more and bring up "number bonds" and as I did he really started to get more interested. He loves working with fact families and so when I googled a bit and found this blog post "The Secret to Teaching Math Facts"  I became hooked on trying this method out and adding it to my arsenal of ideas toward his mastery of his multiplication math facts.

Here is another blog post toward using Number Bonds=Better Understanding, I love this article because it explains how having all four of the fact families can create deeper understanding and better connections with the relationships of numbers. THIS is something I think will work very well with my visual learner. It sort of reminds me of the same "kind" of connection if you will, with Patterns in Spelling and Word Families to teach spelling - showing the bonds between the symbols ( letters) that make up a word.

Here are some printables for trying this out on your own~
Fact Family Cards by Math Cats 
Fact Families Triangles to Print from Helping with Math
Fact Family Cards from Super Teacher Worksheets  (also be sure to see the printable games for practice here too, I downloaded the "to the moon" game which looked like alot of fun)

If any of you decide to try this out I would love to hear back about how it worked out~ we are going to be starting these this Monday~

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