Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More praise for RightStart Mathematics

There have been a few neat things going on with Reece and math the last two weeks. I have been so distracted with Austin's needs that I haven't had much time to post, let alone to reflect - but that's a topic for a post on a different day! :) I just need to write this one down before I forget!

Last week, I was getting ready to introduce her to the math balance. This manipulative reminds one of a regular balance (like she used to play back when she had a "school box" of toys that came out only during lesson time - she used her balance and the little counting bears together), except this balance has numbers and pegs and 10mg weights to attach to the pegs. The goal of the introductory lesson was to introduce the balance by using 2 of the weights and put them on the same number on each side to show that they balanced. Then you would use 3 weights - 2 on one side and one on the other (to make 10s). Well, I got out the balance and then Austin needed help with something so I told Reece I'd be right back. By the time I returned to her she had been exploring the balance and she said, "Mommy! Look at this!" and she placed weights on the 5 on one side, and on the 2 and 3 on the other side. She was so proud of herself! I said, "I wonder if you can figure out how to balance a 10." She went right to it. Then she took up 2 weights and put one on the 10 and one on the 5 on the left for a total of 15. Then she played around for a minute and put weights on the7 and 8 on the other side - this took some trial and error, something I'm working hard on with her (you don't have to be right the first time every time). She was so excited!

The next thing was yesterday when she was working on adding 10 to a number. She has been introduced to regrouping via the abacus(what RightStart calls 'trading' - it's hard but the term is growing on me). These problems of adding 10 she could use the abacus or not, but she was very pleased with herself that she didn't need to. But then we got to 93. Her answer was 104. I knew just from looking at her face and the uncertainty with which she gave her answer that she knew what she was doing, but her language processing was getting in the way. I suggested she put it on the abacus, and she had a little meltdown. "I'm not a math whiz anymore!" I assured her that she was, she just needed a tiny bit of help to see the number. So she did the problem on the abacus and had her "A-HA!" moment. I wrote more on the board for her to do... hundreds, and thousands, some with regrouping... er, trading, and some without! And then I gave her the REALLY, REALLY hard one: 995 + 10. I told her this would be hard so she might want to use the abacus. She merely grinned at me and said, "1005". I asked her how she got that answer, and she told me she traded two times on the abacus inside her brain. I wrote the answer on the white board and she asked if we could leave it there and could she draw a heart around the problem! ;)

Finally, today we began telling time with an analog clock. That's what they're called, right? The clock with the hands and the numbers? LOL Anyway, she's been dreading this for months. She was determined it was too hard. We began with adding 100 to a number, and she had no trouble with the trading in her head. Piece of cake. We were getting ready to do the first clock lesson which involved exploring the geared clock and learning where the numbers go on the clock. She played with the clock while we were doing the numbers thing, then she held the clock up to me with a time on it. It read "10:56" and she said... this is the time it is now. I said, "Actually, that says 10:56. To make it say 11:56, you need to make the hour hand be closer to the 12, because it's nearly 12:00, not 11:00." She looked at it for a minute, and then fixed it. And then she knew how to tell time. Because she started putting all sorts of different times on the clock - bedtime, supper time, rest time, rest time is over, the time it is now, the time it is now, the time it is NOW. LOL Anyway, she basically taught herself how to tell time! And she thought it was going to be so hard! ;)

I'm so relieved that math is enjoyable and understandable for her now! I keep beating myself up over waiting so long to get this program. But maybe she wouldn't have been ready for it 2 years ago? Maybe she just needed the time developmentally and now she's ready for math. Regardless, I'm SO pleased! She is totally a math whiz! LOL


The Glasers said...

I am so glad we switched to RightStart. Pamela too loves math and looks forward to her lessons! Even though the vocabulary will always be hard for her, she understands the concepts!

Lisa said...

Sounds like it's coming together nicely! What a blessing!