Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the missing diamond -- math at last

We're on to a math block! And the children rejoiced. (Seriously.) We're still sticking with our cool African American cultural vibe (and gettin' our groove on to "Run, Chillen, Run" during our movement work in the mornings!) But we're spending the next couple of weeks working with the "Missing Diamonds" story from the Enki Education 2nd Grade Math curriculum, which is the very start of introducing multiplication tables. After reading the story yesterday, both boys readily agreed that it was one of our best stories yet -- it had mystery, detective work, intrigue, and, as Zoo Boy said, "I like that they each have a different walk." It is the story of the Strange family who lost a diamond but found 6 thanks to the cleverness of Busy Boy. Zoo Boy liked that name, too. (The photo is of his label from his new math "good book".)

Today we had a very enthusiastic and detailed recall of the story, with both boys fighting to tell their fair share of the tale, and then we did a free drawing. J chose to draw the scene from the end of the story, where Busy Boy finds the six diamonds for the family to share.

Zoo Boy really put a lot of time and detail into his drawing, drawing each family member and the way they followed the footsteps down the hallway to try to find the diamond. It took him an hour and a half to do this -- I never thought I'd see the day where Zoo Boy willingly spent an hour and a half doing any seat work, never mind drawing! I interrupted him half way through to provide him with a snack, then allowed him to finish his drawing during practice time and told him he could just write the title rather than the verse. He was even creative and made extra work for himself doing the title, depicting Busy Boy's path to help us read the title. Whoa. Big stuff!

And here's my drawing of the initial scene, with the family sitting around the table, staring at their diamond, inside their house on a beautiful autumn day, while Busy Boy is trying to entice them to come outside for a walk. (The fact that we have had two GORGEOUS Autumn days in a row ourselves, right at the peak of our foliage season, made it the PERFECT time to tell this story!) I purposely drew each of the characters depicting their number. (So, starting from the right, Father looks like a 1, Grandmother looks like a 2, and so forth, all the way to Busy Boy who looks sort of 6-ish.) This will come out stronger in our work in the coming days.

As we continue with this block, we are going to draw a picture for each family member/number, and then count by that number on the same page. (You'll see, I'll post them!) I'm a little concerned at how to approach this, since it's supposed to be a led-drawing, yet Zoo Boy is SO resistant to led-drawings, and he's SO enthusiastic about this story, I hate to squash his attitude. I need to meditate on it a bit more tonight, but I'm thinking if I approach it the way I do with painting -- a description along the lines of "Tall, thin father stands up tall and straight" along with a recitation of his verse while I draw my own drawing, and not saying anything about following me....

Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

your pictures look great. i saw your request on the yahoo group, but this story was not a favorite around here. i didn't think our picutres would inspire... good luck with the rest of the drawings!