A couple of weeks ago I was sipping my morning cup o’ tea and checking my email when DD approached me. She said “mama, what does 5 and 3 make?” while she held up five fingers on one hand, and three on the other. I told her to count the fingers, which she did. Her face lit up with that beautiful expression of pride and wonder as she realized she could figure this out just by counting…recognizing a learning opportunity when I saw it, we went and got a peice of paper.
“Here”, I said, “let me show you something”. I told her than one way to add numbers was to draw the number of objects on the paper and then count them. So to add 3 and 2, first you can draw 3 little circles, then 2 little circles, then count them together to get 5. I also showed her how we write this as 3 + 2 = 5.
She was delighted and proceeded to do a number of equations using small circles to add, and with me helping her to write the corresponding equations. She focussed on this task for a solid 20 minutes or so before moving on to drawing pictures.
It was one of those perfect homelearning moments…