Sunday, October 19, 2008

Place Value

I keep hitting stumbling blocks in Maggie's math. There's a concept that I will think she has long since mastered, and then we find out she hasn't. So I back up and teach it again. Then we go on. And then, lo and behold, it turns out that she hadn't actually gotten it. So we back up again.

In the past month, we've retreated all the way back to place value. I think what we're doing now might be effective. It seems like there are synapses firing at an increasing rate, anyhow.

We spent a lot of time just adding 10 to a number (dozens of numbers per day for several days). Then we added 100 to a number. After some work with that, I started making charts: 5-8 numbers across the top of a page (2- or 3-digits each), with 5-8 rows of instructions (add 10, subtract 10, add 300, subtract 100, add 20, etc). After two weeks of that, she's got it ... as long it doesn't involve regrouping. And she even answers some of the regrouping questions correctly.

I keep wondering if I should be saving all these worksheets I make for her, and publish them under the title Beat-It-to-Death Arithmetic.