December 3, 2012
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 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 . . . Read the rest of this entry »
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? Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
November 5, 2012
Here’s what you typically hear for “keeping your child focused”–
Clear your desk
Feet flat on the floor.
Elbows near your sides.
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. . . Read the rest of this entry »
October 17, 2012
Be quiet. That’s right. Stop talking sometimes, especially at critical thinking moments. This is one of THE hardest things for me to do. Here’s how I typically get it wrong.
“So Glenn, you’ve got two fractions and you need to divide one by the other.”
He begins to think. He’s working it out in his brain. He’s sorting. Accessing. Processing.
But before he’s able to complete the newly forming thought, a little mommy bird begins chirping in his ear.
“Do you remember?”
“What’s the rule again?”
“Think. There’s something special you need to do.”
“How does that little math rhyme go again?”
Peck. Peck. Peck. Read the rest of this entry »
September 5, 2012
Letter Week continues here at Sizzle Bop.
Yesterday we took on LETTER ONE–the issue of learning to Wait Before Speaking, a very tough skill for Sizzlers to learn. We’ve gotten some nice feedback from you on that one. (Thanks, by the way.)
Today, let’s hit a tougher one.
LETTER TWO –Should We Homeschool or Public School? I’m Afraid Either Way!
Here are key pieces of a letter from Carri–
. . .My son (with a severe case of ADHD and mildly autistic) will be in 6th grade this next fall and our schools here are terrible for middle and high school. I have always wanted to homeschool, even before our kids were born, but the challenges with my son were so over whelming that I just did not have the strength or courage to do it. I was scared. I am still scared.
. . .I fear that I will fail him if I send him to public school. I also feel I will fail him if I homeschool him.
. . .He’s also very small for his age. This is also a problem, and I fear it will become worse. . .
. . .I just don’t know what to do. I have no support in this decision. My husband trusts my judgment but is gone a lot for work, so the decision is mostly mine. I could really use some words of wisdom from someone who knows a little about what I am facing. A few encouraging words or some kind of answers to the millions of questions I have. I would really appreciate any help you have time to give.
And now for an answer. . . Read the rest of this entry »