Archive for the ‘Math’ Category

Refried Beans And Molasses

February 11, 2013

PHOTO-Refried Beans“Here’s your breakfast!” said Mom, as she cheerfully placed in front of her awakening children a plate covered with smooth refried beans and a little dollop of molasses.

The children went suddenly silent. This was new. However, they had been taught not to complain, so they dutifully ate what was put before them. Yet, each secretly looked forward to lunch.

At noon the children eagerly waited to see what tasty treat Mom would produce. Once again there appeared another plate of refried beans and molasses. Lunch was a rather quiet affair, except for Mom, who burbled quite happily about giving only the best to her family.

Dinner … same story.

Three days and nine meals later, Dad finally spoke up. (more…)

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MATH-in-MOTION Mondays–Ditty Power

December 3, 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve covered ways to put major motion and minor motion into math, keeping things ordered, watching for details, staying on task, making math into a game, even doing math in the bathtub. But there was one bit of motion that was conspicuously absent because I was saving it for today. That of course would be. . .ditties!!!

The Power of the Ditty
If you’ve known me for a while, you know I truly believe in the power of the ditty. But if you’re newer to Sizzle Bop, let me explain.

The ditty is an amazing tool. Information can be learned and cemented almost effortlessly. And yet, for years, I had missed the value of this incredible learning tool.

The main reason? My son is not musical. He has no natural rhythm. He cannot even clap on the beat. So it never occurred to me to use rhymes or rhythm in teaching him. I assumed it would be a pointless and frustrating exercise to even try.

But then one day . . . (more…)

MATH-in-MOTION Mondays-Changing it Up

November 26, 2012

Sometimes it’s not about the math. Often, our kids are perfectly capable of handling the math concepts in front of them. They’ve done it before. It’s very familiar. In fact, that can almost be part of the problem.
How’s that–you ask?

Well, if they are learning a new concept, they have to focus really hard to learn it. The newness of it may be enough to keep them paying attention. But when the math skill being reviewed is one they fully understand and have seen many times before. . . they may be more likely to lose their focus.

That’s when you need some ideas in your arsenal that add an element, making the old new again.
That usually involves motion, or fun, or both!

Here are some ways to take a traditional math lesson and change it up a bit. (more…)

MATH-in-MOTION Mondays:What’s the Rush?

November 19, 2012

Some kids have lovely handwriting. (Actually, I’ve never really witnessed it myself in our house, but the rumors have circulated for so many years that I’m inclined to believe such children do indeed exist.) For these children, writing is a process they enjoy– the grace of the loops, the cleanness of the letters, the straightness of the lines. Writing seems to be almost calming to them. These same kids tend to take their writing skills directly into their math lessons, dutifully copying down their math problems in a neat and orderly fashion. (Feel the straight columns)

Then…there are the others – the ones I’m far more familiar with. These are the scribblers, the hurriers, the I-can’t-wait-to-go-out-and-play-ers. These kids write out math problems on a page that winds up looking as if some great tragedy hovered over the surface and rained down havoc on the computations below. The erasure marks are huge, sometimes leaving gaping wounds in the pitiable paper. The pencil didn’t just write on the page, it engraved into it, so heavy are the marks. And if there are any columns at all on those addition problems, you’d have a hard time finding them. The contentious digits in the ones place suddenly thinks they’re a member of the tens family, another number has leaned so heavily as to jump two place values and several of the hundreds places have gone missing completely.

For the last two days, we talked about what to do with a child who takes forever doing their math. But today we’re facing a problem that is almost completely the opposite. Today’s child may rush through the process so quickly that little is legible, even less is correct and nothing is learned.

What’s to be done? (more…)

MATH-IN-MOTION Mondays–Major Motion

November 12, 2012

Welcome to MATH in MOTION MONDAY! This is our second installment of exploring the many ways you can put motion into learning math.

Last week we looked at some minor motions to add to your lesson plans. But on some days, “minor” just isn’t enough. If you’re having one of those days where trying to sit still and learn is going to be useless, then MAJOR motion may be called for. There is a downward spiral that frustrated kids sometimes step on. And no amount of explanation or forging forward will get them to step off. It’s better, at such points, to close the books and do something that involves serious movement (and the burning off of excess energy),

However, that doesn’t mean that learning has to stop. We’ll just find a way to take our lesson into the activity. And since this is MATH MONDAY here in Sizzleland, let’s go find some ways to put. . .

Major Motion into Math. (more…)

MATH-IN-MOTION Mondays — Minor Motion

November 5, 2012

Here’s what you typically hear for “keeping your child focused”–
Clear your desk
Sit still.
Feet flat on the floor.
Elbows near your sides.
Be silent.
Breathe deep.
Exhale slowly.
Get ready to work.
Now. . .focus, focus, focus.

Isn’t this what we typically hear as instructions on how to focus?
And for most kids, this might be useful advice. <though I remain skeptical>
But for the Sizzler, this simply won’t work. It can’t.
They have a movement requirement as part of their learning process.
Truth is. . . (more…)

APPS for Sizzlers

August 16, 2012

When it comes to APPS, I am clueless, hapless, and most certainly APP-less. That’s because I haven’t yet crossed over into iPad and Smart phone territory. But I’m hearing the praises of these devices all over the place. So we put out a call for apps you like so that others may hear of them. We got a couple of suggestions. But one Sizzle Bop member gave such a wonderfully helpful (and organized response) that I think we should give her/him a round of applause <begin clapping now.> Seriously, it was an amazing resource that was sent in.

So, for all of you who are APP-savvy, this is for you.
The rest of us will join you just as soon as we’ve taken our horse and buggy to the barn. (more…)

MATH WEEK – Day 5

January 21, 2011

We’ve covered ways to put major motion and minor motion into math, keeping things ordered, watching for details, staying on task, making math into a game, even doing math in the bathtub. But there was one bit of motion that was conspicuously absent because I was saving it for the last day. That of course would be. . .ditties!!!

The Power of the Ditty
If you’ve known me for awhile, you know I truly believe in the power of the ditty. But if you’re new to Sizzle Bop, let me explain.

The ditty is an amazing tool.
Information can be learned and cemented almost effortlessly.
And yet, for years, I had missed the value of this incredible learning tool.

You see, my son is not musical.
He has no natural rhythm.
He cannot even clap on the beat.
So it never occurred to me to use rhymes or rhythm in teaching him. I assumed it would be a pointless and frustrating exercise to even try.

But then one day . . . (more…)

MATH WEEK – Day 4

January 20, 2011

BREAK IT UP

Sometimes our kids are perfectly capable of handling the math concepts in front of them. In fact, that can almost be part of the problem.
How’s that?–you ask.
Well, if they are learning a new concept, they have to focus really hard to learn it. The newness of it may be enough to keep them paying attention.
But when the math skill being reviewed is one they fully understand and even find to be easy. . . well, then they may be more likely to loose their focus.

That’s when you need some ideas in your arsenal that permit ways to add an element that is focus worthy in and of itself.
That usually involves motion, or fun, or both!

Here are some ways to take a traditional math lesson and break it up a bit. (more…)

MATH WEEK – Day 3

January 19, 2011

The Rush is On

Some kids have lovely handwriting. (Actually, I’ve never really witnessed it myself in our house, but the rumors have circulated for so many years that I’m inclined to believe such children do indeed exist.) For these children, writing is a process they enjoy– the grace of the loops, the cleanness of the letters, the straightness of the lines. Writing seems to be almost calming to them. These same kids tend to take their writing skills directly into their math lessons, dutifully copying down their math problems in a neat and orderly fashion. (Feel the straight columns)

Then…there are the others – the ones I’m far more familiar with. (more…)