Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week 23 - Triangles, Numbers & Iguanas

I finally got around to presenting Box 5 of the Constructive Triangles to DJ this week. I have to say these boxes are probably my favorite of all the sensorial materials. They have been so much fun. Because it had been awhile since we had worked with them, we started back at the beginning with a review.

Rectangle Box A - this box shows how triangles can make a square, rectangle, rhombus, 3 different parallelograms and a trapezoid. Since we were reviewing, I made a point to name the triangles in a way I haven't before - right-angle isosceles, right-angle scalene, equilateral, etc.

Rectangle Box B - this makes the same shapes as Box A, the the pieces are all the same color. You start with the square, then slide one triangle along hypotenuse, around the tip and down one side until two of the short sides are touching. This reveals that the triangles are now making a parallelogram shape. Continue to the third size to find another parallelogram and then back to the long side to return to the square. Doing the same with the rectangle reveals two different parallelograms depending on whether the short or medium side is aligned. And the rhombus, made of two equilateral triangles makes a rhombus no matter which sides you align.

Triangle Box - this box has a large gray equilateral triangle. Two green right-angle scalene triangles are superimposed over the gray to show that together they are the same size as the equilateral. Then three yellow obtuse-angle isosceles triangles come together to make the same large equilateral. And finally four small red equilateral triangles. This was a great opportunity to really to use the longer names for each triangle shape.

Large Hexagon Box - this one had a large equilateral triangle that you surround with three obtuse-angled isosceles triangles to make a hexagon. Then you fold the three outer triangles in to show that they each equal 1/3rd of the center triangle. Finally, you make the center with three small triangles, add the outer triangles to make a hexagon and then split it into 3rds to show that a hexagon is made up of three rhombi (rhombuses?).

Small Hexagon Box - this box is all small equilateral triangles, 2 red, 3 green and 6 gray. The 2 red make a rhombus. The 3 green make a trapezoid. The 6 gray make a hexagon. We already know from the previous box that the hexagon is made of 3 rhombi. But if you split a hexagon in half, you have two trapezoids! Amazing. Finally, it's not part of the presentation but I showed DJ that the trapezoid is just the base of an equilateral triangle with the upper tip cut off. You can see this in the picture with the three green pieces making a trapezoid and the red piece completing the larger triangle.

We also discovered that adding 2 extra triangles to opposite ends of a hexagon gives you a giant rhombus. There are just so many patterns to discover. DJ and I really enjoyed this work a lot.

And of course, working with the Constructive Triangles inspired DJ to play with his M&D Patterns & Boards. I believe this is the first time he has re-created a pattern off the board. He was quite pleased with himself.

I often try to encourage DJ to do language work but he just doesn't have the passion for it like he does with math or sensorial work. With prompting to choose something though, he did select the movable alphabet at one point this week. I asked him to choose a word to write and he chose graham cracker because he happened to be eating one. He sometimes tells me he can't think of words because there is too much noise in his head!

As usual, he did very well writing the words, but then had zero interest in doing another. I said that was fine but he had to choose something else to do for school. He chose this:

Look at the concern on his face in the second photo! And how excited he is when he finished. I am often feeling like DJ is past these works, but they still call to him. Follow the child and enjoy the satisfaction on his face when he finishes.

After we brought the precarious tower down and DJ had lined up Pink Tower & Brown Stair, he began labeling the Number Rods with the number symbols. Again this is an "easy" work for him, but if he feels the need to do it, I indulge him. But his work did give me an idea.

I've been looking for all sorts of excuses for DJ to practice writing numbers. I'm wanting to introduce the stamp game in math soon and that requires writing his answers. So I extended his Number Rod work. I had him select 2 rods - in the first photo 1 & 2 - he placed the label beneath each one and then he wrote the number. Finally, I had him combine the 2 rods, add up the total and write the solution. By the end he was selecting 3 rods, so in the last photo, 6+5+3=14. This was all about writing numbers, not really about addition.

Then a post on a Montessori Homeschool Facebook page gave me the idea to have him measure the Pink Tower cubes to again practice writing. When he did the measurement activity last week I had drawn 9 lines on a paper from 1" to 9". Because the Pink Tower is metric and ranges from 1cm to 10cm it was perfect as I knew he one would be an integer. I traced all 10 blocks on a paper and DJ went to work. He wrote the best 8 he has ever managed to date!And he wrote most of the number symbols by memory. He just needed a reminder for 9. But that gave me a chance to show him how to use the eraser on his pencil.

A few days later, I happened to glance at my monthly dry erase calendar on our refrigerator and found this. I don't know when DJ did it, but he filled in the numbers 1 to 13, skipping 8. I LOVE Montessori homeschooling!!

And just in case you're wondering about DJ's socialization, we also went with our local homeschool group to the local reptile zoo this week. DJ really enjoyed it. And at one point when they brought out the iguana for the kids to pet, all the little homeschoolers got right in line and patiently waited their turns. All the moms were happily impressed with their behavior.

So, whew! That was a full week! Here's to hoping next week will be just as grand!

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