Wednesday, October 28, 2009

divide and conquer

Finally! The much anticipated day where we added King Dominick Divide to our "Paddy's Picnic" drawing and finally completed them. The kids were very excited to read King Dominick's verses and draw him into our scenes, with his special scepter forming the dots on either side of his arm to make a division sign. J (whose drawing this is) added a joyfully singing bird (one of Mini's friends, he told me) to complete his drawing.

Zoo Boy was really into finishing his drawing, adding a picnic blanket (the green striped thing on the ground in the lower right corner, above the title), and claiming "It looks to me like King Dominick Divide is going to come to life in this picture!"

Today we wrote out one of the King's verses (J's is at the top of this post) and then did a division worksheet (this is J's). Both of the boys actually had trouble with that first equation -- "I don't get it," said Zoo Boy. "This doesn't make any sense," said J. I read the problem out loud, "King Dominick has 11 items, and he divides them amongst all the people present, which in this case, is only one." Both boys looked at me quizzically. "There are 11 cherries, and Paddy is the only one there," I offered. "OH!!!" they both cried and hurried to write in their answer of "11". They went on to work through the other problems with no further questions.

Again, I noticed the boys' different styles in working through the problems. Zoo Boy counted rocks into as many piles as there were people until he got the original number, then went back and counted the number in each pile to make sure they were all the same, then wrote down the answer. (Here he works through "10 divided by 2.")

J, on the other hand, counted out the original number first, then used both hands to divide out equal amounts, recognizing instantly how many were in each pile and writing down that number. (Here he is working on the same equation as Zoo Boy was above.)

Their differences in style show in working through word problems as well. J's problem today was "Daddy made a batch of pumpkin muffins. There are 12 muffins in the batch. If we each eat one a day for snack, how many days will we be able to eat muffins?" He thought about it for a couple of moments, then offered his (correct) answer. Zoo Boy's word problem was "We have 8 cookies left. If each person eats 2 cookies for snack today, how many people can we feed." He fiddled around with his fingers for a minute, then said "I need my counting rocks!" and dashed off to find his bag. In another minute he had the correct answer for me.

Here's The Boy's work. His handwriting is getting stronger all the time. I'm pretty curious as to why he still uses only capital letters, but I'm just going to give it more time and see if, with further work on his handwriting sheets, that doesn't just come along naturally without me even having to say anything about it. He's such a reluctant writer that I fear putting him off of it entirely if I even inquire about it, so I believe leaving it alone for now is my best approach.

And here's my finished drawing for comparison. I added cherries to everyone's hands to match Max's 10.

And that's a wrap on our math block! We read a new fairy tale today, just because I felt like we could use that at this point, so we'll work with that over the next couple of days, then take a few days off as we celebrate J's 9th birthday (eek, how can that even be possible?!?!?!) and Halloween and some group homeschooling activities. Then we'll jump back into our next Language Arts block in the middle of next week.

1 comment:

michelle grimes kindig said...

So awesome. King Dominick does look like he's going to come alive in Zoo Boy's drawing!