Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beth has been putting 2 and 2 together...

...and getting 22.

No, really.

All summer long she's been looking at numbers. We're driving in the car and she calls out, "Mom, what is a 6 and 5?"

"Sixty-five, honey," I tell her.

Two-digit numbers mastered, she's to the point now where she can semi-reliably figure out three-digit numbers. "A 3 and a 2 and a 8 spells three hundred twenty-eight," she announces. Or, occasionally, "A 6 and a 6 and a 7 spells sixty sixty-seven." This usually makes her mom crack up, and may be impairing my driving.

I wish I had the base 10 blocks from my mom's old second-grade classroom. It would make explaining the ideas of hundreds, tens and ones so much easier. Maybe I'll pick up some graph paper the next time I'm at the office supply store.

And it turns out that Beth has a rather serious competitive streak. Two weeks ago her friend Josh was the spotlight kid at church. His dad said, "One of the neat things about Josh is that he can count to forty-ten. For your older kids, that means fifty."

The next morning Beth was busy ensuring she could count past 50. She made it to 100 before the system broke down — it's hard for her to understand that the next number is 101, not 200. To be fair, the competitive streak didn't go quite as far as telling Josh she can count higher than he can (though, knowing Josh, he's probably way past forty-ten at the moment). She just needed to know she could do it.

(Don't ask me which parent this tendency came from. Apparently it's in her genes from both sides of the family.)


Marcia said...

All you need to do is send an email to my mom and she has that kind of stuff she doesn't use anymore in her classroom. I was just there in July and found a bunch of those blocks. Really, she would love to give them to someone who would use them. I got a TON of pattern blocks a year ago.

Libby said...

Thanks, Marcia! I just got a whole bunch of them from a friend here (all hail Em) -- but of COURSE your mom has those.

Beth LOVES them and is starting to get the concept of ones and tens...though the hundreds thing is just too big for her to wrap her head around...which I understand, because I still can't wrap my head around the idea of a billion.

Brooke said...

You need to read The Number Sense by Stanislas Dehaene. It's a fascinating look at the neurology behind math. It's great reading when you have a kid trying to figure out set logic like Beth is. Also, you'll learn exciting trivia like the fact that most songbirds can count to three! (They know when an egg's been stolen, right?)

k woolley said...

ok I was going to send you some, but read the comments and guess I was too late...let me know if you could use anything else...I have tons and they are getting in the way. love to read about you and the family

Ashley said...

My mom used Cuisenaire rods when teaching us number concepts... mostly I remember loving the pink one the best.