Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Beginning math

"Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start." - Maria

It doesn't matter what the goal of learning math is, whether to discover how the 4 fundamental forces can be united or to balance your checkbook. You have to start at the beginning and that is numbers. Numbers are just a shortcut for dealing with big numbers that we can't easily handle using quantities.

Something I just learned was that people and especially children with remember 300 times more information if it is put to music then if it is just told them. We've been using counting songs, like "1,2 Buckle my Shoe" and "Inchworm" to teach our daughter about numbers. Additionally just counting things, like the number of items we pass to her from the washer that she puts into the dryer. Counting the number of bounces she does on the bed. She learned very quickly.

The Inchworm song is fun, being and engineer I recognize that the progression is something I use often, so I add to the verse numbers like:
32 and 32 are 64
64 and 64 are 128
128 and 128 are 256
256 and 256 are 512
512 and 512 are 1024

And instead of 1 little, 2 little, 3 little Indians, I like to do 1 little, 2 little, 3 little piggies, with her toes. It makes for a great little giggle game.

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