Sunday, July 17, 2011

Division, the Montessori way

In the book The doorbell rang, a mother baked 12 cookies for her 2 children. The pair calculated and determined that they will have 6 cookies each. But before they could devour the delicious cookies, the doorbell rang. There, at the door, stood 2 of their neighbours. The mother invited them over for cookies. Once again, the children calculated that now, each of the 4 kids will have 3 cookies. But the doorbell rang again, and in came 2 more friends. The kids re-divided the cookies and each of the 6 kids will now have only 2 cookies. guess it, the doorbell rang again, this time there were 6 more kids! With 12 children, each kid gets only one cookie, much to their dismay.

This is a simple book about division. Using this story, i showed sonshine boy how to 'play' the Montessori Division board.

First, i wrote the equation on a card. I didn't take pictures, but i started with the equation similar to the book, i.e. 12 divide by 2, 12 divide by 4.... When he got the hang of the game, i let him explore with other equations as the above picture.

I told the boy, that the green skittles are people and the green balls (see below picture) represent the cookies. So to solve the equation, say 18 divide by 9, i told him that this means that there are 18 cookies to be divided by 9 people. I asked him to take 9 'people' (skittles) and place them on the board (see picture above).

Next, he distributed the 18 'cookies' (green balls), among the 9 'people' (green skittles) like so. I asked him how many 'cookies' will each person have? Looking at each column, we determine that each person will get 2 'cookies'- and that's our answer!

Using this Montessori Board, i've showed him how to read the division equation. Now, we'll just have to practise doing more division equations

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Other moms deal with tantrums, mischief while ive none of those, I've another set of behaviourial issues to tackle with. There are some things that the boy does that really annoys me to no end. It sets me on fiery mood and no matter how hard I try he just won't (or can't) stop. I've tried talking, scolding, yelling, beating and even caning but he'd just repeat them again. Here's what irritates me

1) He loves to touch me at the joints of my arms. That's alright you say. Not if he does it every other minute. What's more, in his excitement, he's touch would turn into grabbing, scratching and mostly pinching. That's what annoys me most. I can't seem to get him to stop no matter how I scream, cane or reason. I have even resorted to pinching him ( ya I'm that desperate) to show him it doesn't feel nice. He gets it and understood each time that he's not suppose to do it. But he can't seem to control himself especially when he's excited. It seems that I have to yell at him like a complete nutcase before he knows the seriousness of it. PoST note: And i realised he is doing it quite unconsciously, that's probably why he tends to 'forget' that he's not suppose to do it. It's tough to 'discipline' him because as i said he does it subconsciously and so quickly that he tend to not realise what he actually did. Likewise, because he does it in a flash, sometimes even i am not sure if it was a scratch, pinch, grab or just a simple touch that accidentally became a scratch. Hence, at times, i probably wrongfully yell at him. ;I

2) He thinks its funny to speak unclearly. He tends to cut out the ending sounds of some words. For instance, yes become ye, train becomes trai. It started out as a joke but it gCodigjggjot too far. I worry that he'd speak this way in school, if so, no one would ever understand what's he saying. I find it really annoying especially when he knows how to pronounce properly but too lazy to do it.

3) When nursing the girl, he'd sit beside me doing his own thing be it reading or playing his toys. At times he'd just lie down or roll on the sofa. It gets to me that each time he'd jump on me, knock me or even kick the girl's head. Some days he would poke me with his toes which can be quite painful & irritating. Other times he would run his fingers up & down my arms. It can get quite ticklish and annoying especially when I'm trying to manage an infant in my arms.

4) This is probably typical of most kids but still! He has a habit of picking something up from point A and randomly leaving it at point B. He needs constant reminder to put the things back. Its probably ok if I have time to watch him but I don't. By the time I discover it, its too late. I can't nit the problem in the butt!


Well well, the son actually published my unfinished post, which is ironically about him, without my knowledge! I was going to add that these behaviour began way before sister was born, though i can't remember if it was before or during my pregnancy.

5) He has a new habit which probably is a spin off from pt 1. He likes to dig his chin right into my skin be it on my arms or legs...whichever part of my body he can manage. I hate it because it's, you guess it, irritating!

I have pretty much concluded this about his actions. I think it's HIS 'special' way of showing affection. Weird right? I think so too. While other kids probably run to their mamas to give them a hug, kiss etc, he comes to me doing all of these. The only time he'd sit still and hug me tightly is when he is upset or hurt. Other times, it's really difficult to get his affectionate way, that is. I am trying to see it from his point of view, but i think he needs to learn the proper way of showing affection. .

I am probably the only bad mother who complains about her son's strange antics. But hey, im a woman, i need to let out, i need to rant. :I Peace.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Additional addition

Thanks to the CD-Rom i bought for N, he has learnt how to add double digits. I just showed him how it is done and left him on his own. He's been playing this activity daily and has been getting the right answers.

A few nights ago, i asked him what 12+12 was. He wasn't able to answer nor visualised the working format. Today, i wrote the equation on the doodle board, this time in working form. I showed him that he's to add the same way as the game. Subsequently, i asked him to calculate 13+13, this time without any visual aid. He quietly added the sum mentally and gave 26 as the answer! We did a few sums and he was able to give me the right answers-all calculated in his head.

Solving multiplication problem sums

Even though sonshine boy can do multiplication, I wanted to make sure he truly, fully understand what it's all about. The best way, at least to me, is to give him a problem sum on multiplication to solve. Hence, I've been verbally throwing him a number of sums to solve. For instance, I'd ask him; if there are 3 fishballs in 1 stick and mummy buys 3 sticks, how many fishballs are there? Or I could ask if there are 9 sweets in 1 packet, mummy buys 4 packets how many sweets in all? Even though he can spew out the correct answers, I'd insist that he gives me the equation. Sometimes he'd get it mix up I.e 3x4 instead of 4x3, such cases I'd correct him. After a few rounds, he now knows how to solve a multiplication problem sum.

Dividing by half

Since we were on the topic of fractions, I taught the boy how to divide by 2 mentally. I told him that if 2+2=4, then half of 4 is 2 and so on. To make certain he has grasp the concept, I went on to ask him what's half of 8, 16, 10, 14, 18 etc. He looked upwards, thought about it and gave me all the right answers. Last night, the hubs randomly asked the boy what was half of 100 and the boy said 50!
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