Friday, March 19, 2010

grandfather's family

This week we worked with the Enki Education 1st Grade Math story, "Grandfather's Family." Through story it introduces the concept of a "family" of three numbers, two of whom add up to the third, and you can subtract either of the two smaller numbers and get the other. (So, in other words, 2 + 8 = 10, 10 - 2 = 8, 10 - 8 = 2.) This week we just read the story one day, and recalled it the next, drawing the key scene where the two grandchildren sat down on the opposite end of the see-saw from Grandfather, balancing the see-saw without realizing it.

The following day we wrote out the key verse that labels the process. As J (whose picture is above, this one is Zoo Boy's) was writing out his verse, he suddenly gasped and said "Hey, I know what this has to do with math!! The two kids add up to one Grandfather!" I just love the discovery process!

The next day I pulled out a balance scale for our see-saw, and acted out the key part of the story, using a "10" cuisinaire rod as Grandfather, and a "7" cuisinaire rod as the little girl, and a "3" cuisinaire rod as the little boy. When the grandchildren sat down opposite the grandfather, the scale balanced, and I pulled out corresponding colored cards to build the equation "7 + 3 = 1o" in front of their locations on the scale. Then I stepped away from the scales and busied myself elsewhere as the kids, without any further explanation, dove in and created their own scenarios and equations with the cuisinaire rods and scale and cards. This photo shows one of their ideas.

This morning I woke up to hear J in the dining room reciting the "Addition Facts to 10" verse that we've been using this week to work on rote memorization. I snuck out to the room before he knew I was up to catch him creating his own fact families with the cuisinaire rods and writing equations on paper, both with numbers and with cuisinaire "trains" like on his worksheets.

My drawing, for anyone who might be interested.

Incidentally, I don't remember reading about using a balance scale with this particular story work, it just seemed like a natural to me, and I really like the way it brought the story to life for the kids and naturally worked in the number equation.

We've got a lot of games to explore in the next two weeks to solidify the fact family idea, and will start including subtraction in with the addition, but I think we're off to a great start with the groundwork laid this week!


michelle grimes kindig said...

LOVE IT!!! We are about to do the "reawakening" block. I'm inspired and motivated by your scale idea. It really does make sense. My munchkin didn't experience Grandfather's Family the same way. I'm looking forward to see how The Nesting Dolls unfolds.
As always, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love your idea of using the balance scale. May I ask where I can purchase a balance scale?

Harvest Mom said...

Our scale is really cheap (and convertible to a math scale and bucket balance as well -- I like versatility!. I purchased it from .

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