Tuesday, 12 February 2013

snack time is math time!

I don't know what Sasha's kindergarten "Montessori-inspired" classroom was like last year, but for whatever reason, she's behind most of her first grade classmates in both literacy and mathematics. Kid can't say or sing the ABCs straight through or reliably count to 20, let alone do spelling or addition and subtraction. And her homework this week included all of those things.

Sasha's dad keeps talking about hiring a tutor, but hasn't gotten around to it. We have all been transitioning Sasha to a "homework first, movies later" policy. Sasha's dad bribes her with "treats" (coloring books and the like) if she does any extra reading beyond the daily 15 minutes required by her teacher, which works sometimes. We're doing a Reading Scavenger Hunt every Wednesday in lieu of flashcards or early reader books.

Her reading skills are slowly but definitely improving.

Math, though. Math is something I haven't done with her much, since up until now the homework packet has been primarily an oops-we-put-the-whole-thing-off-until-Thursday-night ordeal, and I work for Athena's family on Thursdays.

This week, as Sasha poured herself a bowl of bunny grahams for her afterschool snack and we turned to her math homework, I was struck with the memory of doing "snack math" in first or second grade and loving it. Whether we were counting with M&Ms or goldfish crackers, I loved getting to eat my work at the end of the session. So when mental math and counting on her fingers clearly weren't working well (Sasha only has 10 fingers after all, and the homework had her adding up to 15), I suggested we use the grahams.

 from google images

It totally worked to have the tactile visual aid, and Sasha loved when the homework asked for her to "take away" some number, because it meant she got to eat that number of grahams!

Definitely recommend, would do again.

High fives,

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