Midway through the year, we switched to Math Mammoth’s Blue Series and as of a couple of weeks ago, we finished up what constitutes their “first grade” books, which are Addition, Subtraction, Place Value 1. I didn’t love all the methods in the place value book. We switched pretty quickly to using our abacuses, which the notes in the book vaguely suggest you can do. We also sped ahead somewhat and added much bigger numbers than they suggested, in part because the Math Mammoth drawing out the number method really limits how big your numbers can be while the abacus does not.
We could move on to what Math Mammoth deems the second grade material, which is mainly addition and subtraction with larger numbers. However, I’d rather play around with some other topics and let the really basic numbers keep sinking in for Mushroom and BalletBoy by playing games and letting them do real world math as it arises. We covered enough measurement to last us for years, but we could stand to do a little more with geometry and money, so I’ll take us on a little detour with those in the coming weeks. Plus, they have specifically asked to do more logic, having flown through Lollipop Logic very quickly.
The last couple pages of the Math Mammoth place value book introduce the idea of reading and making simple bar graphs. So we made that our first detour. I took a few books about graphs out of the library for the kids, but the best, by far, was The Great Graph Contest by Loreen Leedy. The more we use her books, the more I adore them. This one is a lot like Measuring Penny in that it takes a concept and explores it in a bunch of different ways. The kids (well, animals, really) in the story get into a contest of making ever more elaborate graphs.
We started with the Math Mammoth basic bar graphs and I asked the kids to come up with something to record. They both decided to record how many servings of each food group they ate in a day. I’m posting a picture even though I feel like it doesn’t make me look like I provided the most healthy food day, honestly.
We then took that idea further and the kids dreamed up a survey to ask and record an even bigger bar graph about. They had a good time polling.
But drawing from the Loreen Leedy book, we also ran around the house making graphs out of real objects, like the characters in the book do. We made a stacked graph of all the board games (Lego games, card games, puzzles, solo games and other games). Then we made a Venn diagram of them (games with cards, games with cards and other pieces, games with just other pieces). Then the kids ran around the house making graphs of other items. Here’s the one BalletBoy made of books he’s reading currently (there are five of them) and books Mushroom is reading currently (also five!).
And here’s the bar graph of all the shoes in the house and who they belong to (yes, it was made on my bed, which just made me scratch my head, but whatever). That long bar in the middle is mine (and he didn’t even go into my closet to find my lesser used shoes!). After this, we rearranged them into a different graph of sandals, shoes and boots.
Overall, this was a fun topic for us. I’m hoping geometry is similarly enjoyable yet mathy. We already broke out the geoboards we made with the kids’ grandfather at the end of last summer.