Thursday, April 11, 2013

Math Without Writing...

Hello, my name is Diane Hurst. I’m a homeschool mom with 9 children (most are grown now; youngest is 13).

 Dinah invited me to do a guest post on The Traveling Classroom, and I wanted to write about something that has been helpful to us in homeschooling.

 When some of my kids were young preschoolers, just learning to add and subtract, we had needed some activities they could do as part of their own schoolwork. The older children did written work pages, but for my younger children writing numbers was very time-consuming and difficult—although the math concepts were easy enough.

So we started doing preschool math pages using number tiles.
What are those?
 Well, any kind of tile—thick cardboard/plastic/wood/foam-- as long as they have numbers written on them.

Here are some examples of different kinds of number tiles:

Plastic lids, with numbers written on using a permanent marker or paint pen

Magnetic numbers

Tiles from a Rummikub® game

Tiles made from printed cardstock, glued onto thick craft foam

For the work pages, I made some with only 3 simple problems at a time, in large print, to start with. The young children would place the correct number right onto the page, where the answer needed to be given.

Then later, I also made some pages with 5 problems at a time.

Something that helped my young kids in being able to do these problems all on their own was that we used a tool – a large bead “abacus” that had just 10 beads. It was homemade, using the type of large wooden beads that are sold as preschool lacing beads, and a wire coat hanger (there’s info about how to make an abacus like this here).

The abacus was fun to use, and gave an easy way for the young children to kinesthetically work out each math problem. After doing this they KNEW they were right! Then they would choose the correct number tile and put it on the page.

I made a large number of simple work pages, and my young kids (4 -5 yr-olds) would do one page each day. Because these were not written on, they were all reusable; after going through a certain set, we could then start over and do them again as needed.

Later, my hand-written pages became transformed to be computer print-outs—and I wanted to make them available to others in ebook form; they are online now on my Gentle Shepherd website.

Using number tiles for math work pages was a great help to us—it gave my preschoolers a math activity they could do repeatedly, with good success— this set-up helped me, too—it made it possible for me to coordinate learning for the younger kids while also teaching the older ones.

Have you used number tiles in teaching young children? How about letter tiles? What are some of your favorite math manipulatives?

1 comment:

Please share your thoughts! I would love to hear from you:)

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