## Monday, August 9, 2010

Math Blocks

Our children have spent endless hours building and learning with the Smarcks. To really get the most out of the Smarcks, however, requires parental involvement. When Shane was 4 I would work with him using the Monkey Math Block. If the block said there were 8 monkeys jumping on the bed I would ask him how many were left if one fell off. Then I would ask him to find two blocks that added up to 7. He mastered both the Monkey Math and Addition Block last year. Right now we are focused on the ABC Block (as noted below); after we are done with that I am going to try some new games with the Subtraction Block.

Nicole, on the other hand, is now 4 and has no interest in learning math. She just loves to build. Every child is unique and learns at a different pace and it important to keep that in mind. Whatever we do with the Smarcks it has to be fun. Kids love to learn and it is important to keep it at a pace that makes it fun. Also, whatever our kids do, if it involves Mommy or Daddy it is 10 times more fun and rewarding. The intention with the Smarcks is to combine the creativity of building with learning, fun, and parental involvement.

2-1-2011: Shane continues to ask to learn as soon as I come home from work. After learning a new word tonight he asked to do the subtraction block. Tonight he learned everything with the 5 block (5-5 to 5-0). Afterwards I had him write out all the equations such as 5-2=3. Then I gave him 5 one blocks and told him to show me what 5-4 means. He explained that 5-4 means you take away 4 and he removed 4 of the one blocks to show that there is one left. I want to make sure he understands what minus and subtraction means and he is not just trying to memorize the answers. I wrote the numbers 5, 4, 3, 2 on the sheet with the letters and highlighted the number 5 indicating that he now knows his fives.

2-5-11: Shane now knows all the things the Subtraction Block teaches and completely understands the concept of subtracting numbers. All the numbers on the paper are highlighted and I guess it is time to move on to something more difficult.

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