Preschool Math: Compare Whole Numbers

What the hand does, the mind remembers.  -- Maria Montessori Our son is really into card games lately.  He loves "Go Fish" and "War" especially, but while playing "War, he was having a tough time looking at the cards and determining which was greater.  To help him out, we provided a concrete manipulative -- Unifix … Continue reading Preschool Math: Compare Whole Numbers

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Ron Paul Curriculum Trial

As part of our summer plans, we wanted to have some actual academic time amidst all the running through the sprinkler and playing in the pool.  I have had my eye on Ron Paul's home school curriculum for a while, and summer seemed an ideal time to give it a test run. For those unfamiliar … Continue reading Ron Paul Curriculum Trial

Math Everywhere: Division

While preparing for our first family trip involving an airplane, we got to do a little hands-on math.  Our kids' pediatrician suggested we bring gummy bears along for the flight to help avoid painful ear pressure during take-offs and landings.  We bought a big bag and divided them up into four groups -- two for … Continue reading Math Everywhere: Division

Preschool Math: Making Groups of Ten

Here's a quick and fun activity to introduce pairs that add to ten -- important math facts to memorize early!  We used our Unifix cubes, but Duplos, Legos, or any other connecting blocks would work as well. I made stacks of cubes for each of the numbers 1 through 9, including two stacks of 5, … Continue reading Preschool Math: Making Groups of Ten

Working Lunch

When you work full-time and are also trying to teach your kids some stuff, you need to make good use of your time at home.  For big brother and me, that often means doing a lot of learning while little brother takes his midday nap.  Here's one example I call a "working lunch," where we … Continue reading Working Lunch

Tessellation Tip

In order to keep them from crawling up the walls in their last week before summer vacation, I've given my seventh graders a tessellation project.  There are about ten million youtube videos explaining how to do this, so I won't bore you with the basics.  Instead, I'll just tell you about my struggles and how … Continue reading Tessellation Tip

Area of Mixed Polygons

In 7th grade math, we're working on area.  We've gone through all of the basic formulas with careful attention to how they are related to one another -- the triangle being half of a rectangle, the trapezoid being a combination of two triangles, and so forth. Now we're on to area of mixed polygons, such … Continue reading Area of Mixed Polygons

Units vs. Square Units (vs. Cubic Units)

When teaching basic geometry concepts, such as perimeter and area, you will save yourself quite a bit of grief if you start by making clear the difference between units and square units. Our common abbreviations for these, such as cm and cm², look deceivingly similar to each other and are easily confused by students who … Continue reading Units vs. Square Units (vs. Cubic Units)

Pythagorean Theorem Follow-Up: Solution

Monday I asked my students to determine whether this triangle was equilateral, isosceles, or scalene, and to prove their answer.  The hint is in the post title: this is a Pythagorean Theorem activity.  Here is the original triangle: If you said "isosceles," you're correct!  Here's the proof, using Pythagoras's Theorem. The hypotenuse of the right triangle, … Continue reading Pythagorean Theorem Follow-Up: Solution