Sunday, April 1, 2012

Math Madness

Well, we are on the downhill side of first grade - where has the year gone? It seems that time really does fly when you have kids in school. This year, that has truly been the case. Every year that Doodle starts a new grade, I worry about how she will keep up with her peers, will she make friends, will she fit in on the playground, can she keep up. This year was no exception.

Doodle, of course, has surprised me and done exceptionally well in school. She really loves it. This year, however, she has met her arch nemesis - Math! She has struggled all year, but still scored well on most of her tests and came home with B-, B, and B+. It seemed she was improving, that is, until this quarter hit. She has brought home 2 F's in a row! On her quarter review test, she missed simple things that she had mastered months before. I think that I was more devastated than she was when she brought home the test. My heart just breaks that she has to struggle so hard in this subject. 

So, as with most things, I'm on a mission to make it better. I felt like we had tried most things: flashcards (didn't help), online games (she liked, but didn't help make progress), a Toy Story math book (helped some), and I even resorted to bribery. So, I decided to get out my Cri-Cut machine and make my own version of flashcards. First, I cut out some tags, then glued numbers to the tags and different colored stars representing the numbers to give her visual cues. I started real simple: 1+2, 3+1, 4+1, just to help her get through her Rocket Math timed tests. Then, I created tags with numbers from 0-9 with touch points that represent the number and help her count. I'm teaching her to use the number to help her figure out the math problem. The number 3, for example, had three different points, so she can use the points to count and come up with the answer.  This seems to be helping.

Also, a friend suggested we try hide and seek math. I hide 5 flashcards and she has 5 minutes to find the flashcards, bring them to me, and give me the answer. She really likes this game and it seems to be helping. I imagine, however, that we will continue this routine right through the summer months so we don't take a step backwards. I know second grade will be even more challenging with math.

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