One child three the other four. Watching the same PBS' Dragon Tales episode for the tenth time...
Off goes the teevee. The children wail. "I don't wanna play math...!!!"
"I don't wanna watch this show again and this is a benign dictatorship not a democracy."
I'd have pictures but they were butt naked and I have been getting a ration for posting pics of naked math students even though they are under 5...sick world we live in, but I digress.
I got out a ten and a two. Laid them lengthwise and said measure that with fours...the older boy gets out the blocks and carefully lays them along side.
Laughs when he lines them up and counts them..."four!" He says triumphantly. But then he sees I am not approving.
"Count it again..."
"...three I mean three!"
Self correcting, no "no" in the lesson. We are about to put away the ten and two but the three year old exclaims "I want to count it!!!"
He counts the fours and agrees there are three there. Three 4s is the same as a ten and a two. Next, I got out a two tens and a four...measure with sixes. They got out sixes and lined them up next to the tens and four...
This takes some motor skills and the 3 year old was happy to let his brother line them up nicely while he got out the blocks. They counted. "Four!!!"
"Very good. Four 6s is exactly the same as two tens and four."
"And two sixs is 12!!!" He says after comparing the two sixes to the two tens and seeing that he used up a ten and two of the units on the next ten.
Okay lets build tens...they each got their on ten section of the top tray and I made the older one build his own but set up the blocks for the younger one where all he had to do was match the right block to complete the ten.
Then we got on the computer and built nines and tens...they had fun and I didn't have to watch re-runs. I was using the Freeware version, so it had nines and tens, there are links on this page to a demo that only builds tens too...the software is about to get a slight upgrade where every time you get it right you get some audio reinforcement too. For now YOU can provide it for them, and never say no that's not right, if they get it wrong they are just getting more information so you can say, "try again" or "too much", or needs to be bigger or what have you.