Friday, 24 April 2009

Maths Journals

I am awful at maths. Terrible. My maths is even worse than my spelling! (& that is saying something!)
Despite this fact, i have chosen to stay away from a packaged maths curriculum. I have a bit of a wobble every now & then & doubt myself, but, deep down I believe this is the way to go for us.
The first book I read on the Subject of home schooling was Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style This is a wonderful book, one i return to often. Very meaty, packed full of information & food for thought.
This list (which is contained in the book) really struck me: Ten Things to Do with Your Child Before Age Ten
No maths textbooks! I have since read a lot of discussions as to the various ways children best learn mathamatical ideas & concepts. I have to have a balance. I have a wonderful MIL who is a maths whizz & a retired teacher. I have a husband, who, despite supporting us in our home education, would get very nervous if we were not 'doing maths' (as would I)
So, for the last two years of my eldest daughter's 'official' education, we have played games, counted all manner of things, weighed ingredients, talked about & looked for patterns & various other fun things, with the odd Kumon workbook thrown in for good measure.

Today we began a Maths Journal
E is using a simple spiral bound lined notebook (it was what we had on hand) to record her ideas & work.
I found this article to be very inspiring & explains the concept well.
I also have this book which i have yet to read :)
We are currently looking at patterns in maths (isn't that what maths is all about?) which has lead us on to looking at place value.

We use hundred boards a lot
We have wipe clean ones & I use these printables online:
100 Board
Blank 100 chart

Today we looked at the number 5. We identified all the numbers containing 5 on the hundred board & E coloured them & we looked at the resulting pattern.

We then made 'pictures' with cocktail sticks. Our rules where that we had to use 5 sticks for each picture, & each stick had to touch another stick, either on a side, or an end.
We talked about each picture & described them (a house, a kite, etc etc) Then, we talked about how we would describe them in numbers.
For example, E said about the picture below, that she could see 2, then 1, then 2.

We went through this process with each 'picture' then taped them into her journal, following this page:
(The story of 5)

We also talked about where on our bodies we have 5 :)

I plan to do this basic work for all numbers 1-10
I also plan to read Math For All Seasons by Greg Tang we have this book & I am sure the subject of this book is grouping items together to count them more easily. (It is a while since we read this)

I am still very intimidated by maths. I will never be a maths genius, but, since I have begun looking at maths more closely with my girls, I have to confess, I am beginning to find it more & more interesting :)

Here are some more maths journal pages you may find to be of interest:

Math journals for primary aged children
Math Journals Boost Real Learning
Prompt ideas

Please do share any ideas & experiences of your own, I would love to hear them.


Helen said...

You and me both, Lynn - dd1 is so much more ropey on maths than literacy that I am constantly questioning how I 'do' maths. You're not alone! I am just about to post about our maths (and hilarious science) today on my blog - technology permitting!

Jeanne said...

Do you have 'A Place for Zero' by Angeline Sparagna LoPresti? It is the greatest maths adventure ever!!

I'll try to blog about it soon - highly recommended!