Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 16: All the time in the world

After taking Christmas week off, DJ surprised me by voluntarily selecting the Movable Alphabet to work with. He still didn't want to write words. He tells me that he "has too many sounds in his head to think of a word". Instead he decided to match the MA letters to the double sandpaper letters, which was a great opportunity for me to see how many of those sounds he recognizes and he knows most of them.

He did try to "write" one word in his own way - by randomly selecting letters and asking me what they say. He first chose s/p/r and I reminded him that it can't be a word without a blue letter (vowel) so he added the u. For once his randomness approaches a word so I told him it said "super".

On another day he wanted to use the Movable Alphabet again and I tried prompting him to think of a word. Instead he said he wanted to write a word with a x in it, so I suggested he write mix, which he did. Then he totally surprised me by saying he'd like to write police truck, which as you can see in the photo is phonetically spelled "puleese truc". He was VERY proud of this work, so I let him leave it out overnight. When asked to put it away the next day, I saw him running his hand under the letters say "police truck," nodding to himself and smiling.

He also spent some time practicing writing his numbers with chalk. He is SUCH a perfectionist, if he writes a number a little wrong but still recognizable, he'll insist it doesn't say that number. He does like writing numbers better than letters though because they are generally easier. He particularly likes the number 1.

DJ received a set of Magna-Tiles for Christmas and he's been doing some amazing building. Somehow I didn't get a picture of any of his creations except for the bird in the photo above. But what really amazes me is the connection he's made with the Geometric Solids. Of the 10 solid shapes, he has recreated 5 of them with the Magna-Tiles. He has also learned that he's not able to create the other 5 because they all have curved sides (sphere, cone, cylinder, ovoid, ellipsoid).

He also used 6 triangles to make a Rhombohedron! And yes, I did have to google the name of that shape. It is essentially a 6-sided, 3-dimensional rhombus. From his Constructive Triangle work, he remembered that 6 triangles make a hexagon. And he discovered when you open a square based pyramid and lay it flat it makes a star.

DJ's friend, A, came again to do some math work with him. We presented the Golden Beads and Large Number Cards to her and then played the game of selecting either beads or number cards from one category (units, tens, hundreds, thousands). Hundred and Thousand were new words for her and when I first told them to her, she looked at her mom with this face that said, "Is this lady crazy?" Hah.

After the new work, she wanted to do the spindle box again and worked with the sandpaper numbers a little. DJ brought out the Trinomial Cube and A explored the Binomial Cube. They really enjoy working together and both begged for A to stay longer when it came time to leave.

After A went home, DJ wanted to lay out the Decanomial Square again. He actually did almost all of it himself, asking me to help when he got to 7+.

The next day, we reviewed the 4 operations with the Golden Beads, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The first picture above is 2,216 times 3. Our cat, Molly, was very interested. The second photo shows 3,135 divided by 3.

DJ is really close to being ready for the Stamp Game as far as understanding the operations go. But I'm hesitating to move him forward because he's so young and I don't think his maturity and focus is there yet. I tried presenting the Thousand Chain this week and it didn't go well. It takes A LOT of perseverance and DJ just doesn't have it. A very wise lady on the Montessori Homeschooling Facebook group gave me some great advice that I need to remember this year. She said, "Instead of teaching like we're running out of time, we should teach like we have all the time in the world." That really resonated with me.

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