Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"You put 10 fingers up, you put 10 fingers down
You put 10 fingers up and twirl them all around,
You give a little wiggle and you bend them up and down,
That's how we learn to count!"

Number sense is an interesting development in children.
Children begin counting with a one to one correspondence. The helper of the day has the privilege and responsibility of passing out the Torah's. When a child is first developing their counting skills and number awareness, he/she will pass one Torah (or napkin, or paper...) to one child at a time.
As their number sense develops, he/she begins to look at the group and makes the decision of how many Torah's to pass out based on how many children need one.

They have progressed from a simple 1-1 idea to seeing a group.
I encourage you to invite your child to set the table for dinner, does he/she bring 1 plate/utensil/ glass at a time? Does he/she gather 4 (or enough for all the family members) plates/utensils/glasses at a time?

Numeral recognition and counting is another development in number sense. When a child is first learning to recognize the numerals and count, it is presented in order 1-10. As the child learns the numerals and refines their counting skills, the numerals can be mixed up making math games more challenging and more fun.

Since we have been discussing the Jews building King Pharaoh's pyramids in Egypt, we used our counting skills to create pyramids.
The base has 10 yellow squares, with each successive level having one less square.
The beginning of this project was guided, after the 3rd/4th row, I began to ask the children the question: If you had (8) squares for your last row, how many will you need for this row? Children would recount the row of (8) and answer (7), or give the answer without a recount because the pattern had been discovered.
While making the paper pyramids, I heard from a few of the children: This is so hard!
I acknowledged their opinion and reaffirmed my faith in their skill and ability.
Noah: This is hard.
Morah Katie: I know it feels hard, I believe you can make it.
Noah: Building a pyramid is really hard. Hard work.
Morah Katie: I agree, building a pyramid needs hard work. I can't wait to see your pyramid.
Noah: (with completed pyramid) I Did It! I'm a hard worker! I made a pyramid!

We used our counting skills to determine how many blocks we might need to build a block pyramid.

We are listening to the Passover story, and learning why we eat the special and different foods at the Seder meal. We are learning about how the charoset (apple/nut mixture) reminds us of the cement bricks they made for the pyramids.

We talked about how hard the Jewish people worked, and just how difficult their work was.
We are discovering first hand the challenge of construction as we build a foam block pyramid. It has taken us more than a couple of days. We are appreciating the hard work we are accomplishing and imagining what it must have been like to build a real pyramid.

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