Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fractions: Introduction to Quantity

In the next few lessons the child is introduced to halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths....tenths and sixteenths using the fraction circles, squares and triangles.

Ten Circles divided into equal parts from one through ten.
A series of four squares divided into equal parts of halves, fourths, eights, and sixteenths.
A series of three triangles divided into equal parts of halves, thirds, and fourths.

One circle, one square, and one triangle are one unit.
We can divided these into two equal parts. These units have been divided into halves.

Fractions are units that have been divided into equal parts. At this point the child may match the labels to the fractions.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Materials used to teach fractions - Age 6-9

Fraction Circles, Squares, and Triangles
Large Fraction Skittles

Cut-Out Labeled Fraction Circles

Small Fraction Skittles - the small green skittles above the circle fractions.

Fraction Activity Cards
- Additional exercises for use with The Cut-Out Fractions
The set on the left is from Nienhuis and the set on the right I believe is from Bruins.

Introducing Fractions

Fraction: Latin - 'Frangere' - means to break or to divide.

The concept of fractions can be introduced by first dividing an apple into
1) two equal parts - each part is one half
2) four equal parts - each part is one-fourth
An apple is a unit. Once we have cut the apple it is no longer a unit. Children are familiar with units because of the unit beads.

Now we can pull out the whole circle inset and show them a Unit, then the half circle inset and then the four circle inset. Show that when we divided into fractions, each share MUST be equal.

Lesson #2

Show two unequal parts by cutting a paper circle into very obvious two unequal parts. The two parts are not equal to each other. They are not halves. They are not fractions. A fraction is a whole divided into equal parts.

Here is a few places we use fractions in our daily lives:
1. The clock
2. Measuring liquids
3. Measuring Length and Width
4. Weight Measures

Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Puzzles

I saw this Melissa and Doug puzzle at the Montessori school I teach at and just had to get it for my kids. The school had the one above, The Continents Puzle but I purchased the United States Puzzle and the Solar System Puzzle. I already have a world map puzzle so I decided one was enough since I plan to make a felt continent map for the kids. My son loved it.

The great thing about these puzzles is how big the pieces are. For the United States map, each state is one puzzle piece with the exception of some of the North Eastern States which are clumped together. I wish they would have not clumped them together... Also, the outer part of the map puzzle lock together but the inside pieces do not lock together. This makes it a little more challenging.

I found these at Mardel but I saw them on line at By the way, I love Mardel. They have so many great teaching resources. Mardel is half a teacher store and the other half a Christian Book store. Check out their online store if there is not a store near you.

Here is a picture of Bella working with her own puzzles while her brother works on his!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I love Spanish!

There are days my children say "NO SPANISH" and days they ask for it. I follow the child even though my heart breaks when they say "No Spanish" or "I don't like Spanish". There are days I panic and think my children will grow up and not be able to speak, understand and read Spanish. I am the type of person that worries A LOT. I am highly stressed out even when there is nothing to be stressed out about. I like to be on time, do a good job, and take care of everything myself....this all stresses me out! So, the task of teaching my children Spanish has at times overwhelmed me.

This past Sunday I was elated when my son took this work out all on his own and got excited about it. He wanted to match the words to the objects and he wanted to spell them all out! It was so wonderful. These are the days I love!

My Bella who is three years old loves to get in the way of his work but I finally got her attention on a box of objects I have just for her (you can see those in the background of the picture) to name, play iSpy and she also worked with cards and counters.

By the way, she is not able to do it on her own. So, this week I will be making her one with the numbers in order attached to a poster board and sticker dots under each one so she knows how many to put under each number. So, one will have one dot under it. Two, will have two dots, Three, three dots, etc... She then can put the rocks on each dot.

Here is the cards and counters lesson I found online.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Home Projects

My husband and I both woke up this past weekend with a need to organize, clean and work on the yard.
This cabinet above was in our laundry room located in the kitchen. My husband took it out of the laundry room and put it in one of the closets in the kids playroom so I can store toys the kids are not using.

In the laundry room he built this wonderful and spacious pantry. I have some of my pantry stuff in the kitchen cabinets put I need more space for bulk items and extra items.

Placing the cabinet in the kids playroom made us clean it out again...go through toys and re-arrange a little.

I also re-arranged the cabinet with crafts and school materials. I need more space for all of this stuff!

I purchased these little drawers for the Spanish Phonetic/Spelling work for the kids and got it all organized.

The kids and I cleaned the entire house, added a few more plants to their garden. My husband planted a few plants in the front flower beds and mowed the backyard.

This picture is one of the flower beds.

We went to home depot and purchased several things for our long to do list for the home. Since my husband and I are both off in the summers we spend a lot of time working on the house. So far on our to do list: re-stain kids play set (this thing is huge...), paint scratches/spots on walls/trim work, paint the hall way and kitchen, re-caulk our shower, and re-seal a small area in our roof that seems to want to leak every year. We'll see how much we actually get done!

And I have also started working on planning our summer activities. The kids will be out of school in two weeks, daddy in three weeks and I have one week left at the College!!

Geometry Stick Box in Action!

Here are a few pictures of lessons using the geometry stick box.

Above: Vertical Angles are Equal

Above: Interior and exterior angles.

Below: Equilateral triangle, Isosceles triangle, Scalene triangle